local business spotlight

Five New Coffee Shops Opening in Fort Worth

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1. Roots Coffeehouse

This coffee shop will be located on 400 Bryan Ave in Fort Worth. They are taking on a complete building renovation. Part will house Roots Coffeehouse and the other part (including upstairs) will house Criterion CoWorking (a co-working concept that we’re also working on).

Since they are still in the design phase, they aren’t sure about an exact opening date. Their goal is late 2017/early 2018.

Their decision to expand to Fort Worth was pretty easy - Fort Worth is home for them. In early 2016, they moved to the Fairmount neighborhood and fell in love with the area. They’ve had their eye on the South Main area, so when their building popped on the market, they saw it as their chance to try out their new co-working concept and provide the South Main area a community coffeeshop at the same time. They are so excited to be a part of this community!

The hope for Roots Fort Worth is to be a true community coffeeshop - a place for sharing & gathering. As with our flagship store in North Richland Hills, this shop will feature incredible craft coffee & tons of local ingredients. They love partnering with other local businesses in the community.

Their “specialty” is their accessibility.  They really want to be a place that all feel welcome and accepted. They have always had a great team of baristas who are friendly to both specialty-coffee-newcomers, as well as seasoned coffee drinkers. They also feature some incredible signature drinks - the Local Honey Vanilla Latte has been a crowd favorite since their NRH shop opened in 2009. The other thing that sets them apart is their commitment to local ingredients. They source as much as we can from local suppliers - Holy Kombucha, Dude Sweet Chocolate, Main Street Bakery, Novel Coffee Roasters, local honey, local craft beer, and many more!

Follow them on insta for more updates on the new location: @rootscoffeehouse / @criterioncoworking


2. Ampersand FW

           Ampersand FW decided to create the concept just out of pure spontaneity. They grew up and went to school around the area & saw that the market needed something new and different. Although the company is operating under one entity, they are a collaboration of two businesses. The partners both have a coffee shop (Cuppa Espresso Bar) and a bar (Citizen/Stirr) in the Dallas/Irving area. Nevertheless, they are trying to remain as transparent as possible.

          Overall, their hope for Ampersand is that it creates a little subculture of its own. They really take pride in being involved with the community as much as we possibly can. They are offering free coffee to not only police officers, but have now extended the offer the local firefighters, EMT"s, and active duty service members as well. Ultimately, they want to create a concept that is not only edgy, but is able to maintain the principles that really reflects the City of Fort Worth.

          They like to think of themselves as a one stop shop for their customers. They're striving to create an environment in which you can not only sit down & relax in the daytime, but also have a drink or two with their friends at night. They roast their own beans on a day to day basis, so everything is fresh. In addition to this, they partnered up with a local bakery (soon to be revealed) to provide them with the best quality products that play with their concept. There's plenty more that they would like to reveal, but are going to make the public wait a little bit. 

        As young entrepreneurs, they created this concept to reflect their own taste and interests. As mentioned earlier, they not only wanted something edgy and fun, but at the same time welcoming and comfortable. Coffee shops are a dime a dozen nowadays, they wanted to craft a concise menu that has a little bit of everything for everyone.

           There are so many reasons they are excited to be in Fort Worth. They see the city is currently in an exponential period of growth and development, & are just glad to be a part of it. Being millennials themselves, they are excited to bring something new to the area that ourselves would appreciate and love. As they say, "feels good to be home."

Follow along on instagram @ampersandftw. 


3. Craftwork Coffee on Magnolia

Craftwork Coffee decided to open a new location on Magnolia, because they saw the professional community in the Near Southside often working in isolation in a home office and holding meetings in noisy coffee shops, so we wanted to provide a better option. Craftwork provides a balance of professional space and a community-oriented coffee shop.

Their hope is to create an environment of ease and inspiration. They want each & every person to walk into Craftwork and immediately recognize that this is a place where they belong

Their care and attentiveness set them apart as a coffee shop. They treat customers with genuine care not because its a rule, but because they deserve it. Care extends out into paying attention to the details. By striving for perfection with the small things, they achieve it with the big things.

Craftwork views Fort Worth as home and find it easy to work tirelessly for a city that they love.

Follow along on Instagram @craftworkcoffeeco.


4. Coffee Folk

Located in East Fort Worth, this coffee trailer opened a few weeks ago.  

This coffee shop is meeting a need in a neighborhood that is really lacking in commercial development and especially coffee shops.  One of the local residents I met told me that he has been visiting the shop everyday they have been open to make sure they don't close.  

At this point, they don't have any dreams to open a brick and mortar.  Their desire is to see the area come back to life, as a preservation "thing," to see more places that people enjoy.  

The owner Brian Middleton enjoys the design aspect, he built the trailer and landscaped the incredible patio area.  He as his wife run the trailer at this point, in between schooling and raising their two girls.  

Go check out this awesome east side coffee trailer, open on Friday and Saturdays, and pick out a treat from their delicious selection of  Empire Baked Goods from Dallas.

Follow them on Facebook at Coffee Folk and on Instagram @coffeefolkcafe.

5. Ascension Coffee

Planned to open in WestBend (near HGSPLY CO) in a couple years! 

Alaina Benn Ceramics- Local Business Spotlight

This week we are featuring Alaina Hamlett of Alaina Benn Ceramics...

how it all began..

          Alaina is a senior at TCU and has some crazy talent when it comes to ceramics. She has always had a love for art, but never imagined that it would be something that she could actually pursue in such a tangible way. Alaina began her work with ceramics during her sophomore year at TCU when she enrolled in a ceramics course. She said that at first, it was a little tough to get the hang of and she often felt discouraged by it, however it wasn’t long before she fell absolutely in love with the concept of creating something with her hands. As her skills began to grow, Alaina decided to try and see if anyone would be interested in purchasing her art. The first item she sold was her hand-crafted pour-overs. She posted an image of one on Instagram to see if anyone would want to buy one and her expectations were completely blown away. She was very encouraged by how many people wanted to purchase a pour over that she began steadily working to perfect them even more. 


What's ahead..

    Alaina has several goals for the future of her business. Some of her short term goals include finishing a website, creating a dinnerware set,  and saving up to purchase her own wheel. Some of her long-term goals and dreams include eventually opening up a coffee shop/ ceramics studio with a barista friend of hers. The idea would be to have a coffee shop with a full functioning ceramics studio attached. The coffee shop would use all of the products from the ceramics studio to serve the coffee in, as well as sell the products. The studio would also function as a collaborative workspace for other artists. 


giving back..

    In addition to being a talented ceramics artist, Alaina is also a Young Life leader in Fort Worth. Young Life is another huge passion of hers and she has been able to tie these two passions together. This past year Alaina sold pour overs to help raise money to send a kid to Young Life Camp. Her dream is to continue to do this with hopes that she will continue to raise more and more funds to send even more kids to camp to hear about Jesus. When Alaina was describing why she loves pottery so much, she cited a certain passage from the Bible where God is referred to as the Potter and we are His clay. Alaina said that remembering this passage when she is sitting at the wheel and molding clay, she is able to more fully understand this verse and to grasp its depth. She is able to understand more clearly the intricacy with which God handcrafted each of us and that brings her to awe of His glory.

          I’m so excited to watch Alaina continue on this journey of starting her ceramics business. She is so talented and so passionate that I know success is sure to follow her. If you are interested in checking out some of her work follow her on Instagram at @alainabennceramics!

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copy is written by Hannah Distasio

Simple Things Furniture- Local Business Spotlight


      As I sat in the Simple Things shop, the sound of Frank Sinatra playing lightly in the background, the sun beaming off the raised white barn ceiling, I fell in love.. Simple Things is small furniture business based out of Benbrook Texas and it is a sanctuary. These people are passionate about furniture and about helping their clients to create unique spaces.  It is a beautiful space with beautiful products.

Our Meeting

      I sat down and talked with Patti, an employee at Simple Things and Jim, the owner, a few weeks ago and they filled me in on how Simple Things came to be. Patti is a sort of jack-of-all-trades. According to Jim, she is the best-kept secret in Texas. Patti is an artist for Simple Things. She takes care of the photography, the styling, the social media, she helps design the furniture, and she is a buyer among many other titles. Jim, on the other hand, has been designing his own furniture for over 20 years. He humbly referred to himself as a “competent forager at best.” But all it takes is one glance around his shop to know that that is quite the understatement. The building itself has a bit of a unique story as well. Apparently it functioned as a workshop when Simple Things was still running out of a space in University Park Village in Fort Worth. However, when Jim decided he wanted his own space, he made the decision to renovate the warehouse. According to Patti, it was a hideous building and everyone thought that Jim was crazy.  But now, looking around and admiring the wood flooring, the airy windows, and the white washed wood ceiling, I never could’ve imagined that this space was ever anything but lovely. Simple Things has been open at this new location in Benbrook for about 3 ½ years now. They like to say that they are “the coolest furniture store in Benbrook, Texas.” 

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The Style 

          Jim associates part of their success to the style of their furniture. He refers to their style as “cool, but not too gypsy hippie.” It allows for a wider range of people to come in and all like the style because it can be suited for a diversity of styles. Jim mentioned that Simple Things is unique because of their simplicity. They love natural light, creaky wood floors, weird music and lots of chocolate! Simple Things has definitely created a unique and cool atmosphere and style. I really enjoyed my time with them and am so pumped to have these creative souls in our area.  

Check Them Out

Be sure to check them out at 7401 W Vickery Blvd, Benbrook, TX 76116 and follow them on instagram @simplethingsfurniture.  


Our Spare Change- Local Business Spotlight

About the business...

Our Spare Change is a jewelry company founded by two sisters who have a passion for sharing stories and for reminding the world that something broken or deemed invaluable, can be restored into something beautiful.  


behind the scenes

Hillary O'Modhrain and Danielle Mellem began this endeavor as a more of a hobby than anything else. Danielle, the creative of the duo, began making necklaces in high school. It wasn’t long before she realized that she needed to source out a more inexpensive alternative to beads and such. This is where salvaged coins came into play. The coins allowed Danielle to continue to do what she loves in creating something beautiful but at a lower cost. Danielle crafts the jewelry by hammering down the coins with a sledge hammer and then hammering in each letter, one by one, with metal stamps. It wasn’t long before Hillary, the business brain of the two, noticed that Danielle was getting so many orders and decided to make this hobby more official, with a website, name and legal legitimacy. 


their story

As websites orders began streaming in with requests for certain words on the coin, Hillary noticed a need to learn more about those words. Danielle would pray over each piece that she made, but didn’t always know what a word meant, or why it was important to an individual. That is when storytelling became a huge part of their business. Their website now has an option for sharing your story with each purchase, and those stories are featured on the website. 


Hillary mentioned how neither of the girls ever dreamed that their business would be where it is now. They have been so blown away by how far God has brought them and allowed them to be apart of something so special. Through a series of divine connections Hillary and Danielle were able to meet a judge who brought an interesting idea to their attention. The judge asked is the two would ever be interested in hiring on women who had been previously incarcerated but who were on parole and in programs to help them establish worth and dignity. Hillary volunteers for an organization called the Net that helps to empower the homeless and women who’ve been sexually exploited. Her experience in working with the Net made this idea extra exciting for Hillary.  Taking on an employee has been a challenging and learning experience.  Hillary compared this experience to the story Tolkien tells about spending so much of his life drawing a leaf when his vision is to draw a beautiful tree and forest.  The process of training has been hard and time consuming, but these girls have a great vision. They dream of one day being able to employ many women who have been sexually exploited to nurture and train them before launching them into a successful and hopeful career.  


I was really so encouraged by my time with Hillary. I could tell that she believes in this company that she and her sister built, and believes in what they stand for. She is a faithful woman, truly seeking to glorify God through her business, her home, and her relationships. We were also able to talk about the business community in Fort Worth and the need for more leadership. Hillary then reminded me of the parable in the Bible of the man who gave his servants talents and entrusted to them his property.  He leaves town and comes back and judges them for what they have done with their talents.  The servant whom he gave five talents, when the man came back to "settle accounts" this man had made five talents more.  His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master’ (Matthew 25:14-30).

The sisters at Our Spare Change are investing their talents and there is fruit being born for the Kingdom because of their passion for restoring what was once lost and broken. 


See more of Hillary's adorable and super stylish workspace/home ->>


To support Our Spare Change through their store or to learn more about their business visit their website.


copy is written by Hannah Distasio

W Durable Goods- Local Business Spotlight

          It was such a privilege to spend the morning with Daniel Wright, the owner and founder of W Durable Goods, and to hear more about his passion for his business.  I was so impressed by the quality and style of his workmanship and the originality of their product.  If you get a chance, you have to go by W Durable Goods on Foch St.  


Read my interview with Daniel...


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How would you describe your product? Handmade leather goods and canvas bags, plus other brands that we believe represent practicality and originality.

Tell me the story of how your business began... about 11 years ago I bought a home sewing machine to repair my own clothing and began to make my own small bags for the fun of it. I realized I couldn't make the things I wanted to because of my machine so I bought an industrial machine, and I advanced greatly in my skill and capacity, 4 years later I had 3 sewing machines and had converted a room of my house to my shop. After marrying Stephanie in 2012 and started to cut back on my job as an electrician, we moved the shop out of the house and began to pursue WDG as a legit business, we now have 9 sewing machines in a 4000 sq ft building with a quarter of that as a retail space to showcase our own goods plus other brands.

What inspires your work? 1930s-1960s designs from old companies like LLBean, and pre WWI - WWII American and European military goods. Mostly I like to make things that aren't currently being produced in the same quality that they used to be.

What is your favorite part about your work?  To be able to create something new and solve problems for people.

What has been the greatest challenge in your work?  Sourcing information pertaining to industrial sewing. Since 30 years ago, the American sewing industry has vastly decreased, the machinery and the people that know things are dying off and there's precious few resources about the fine details of manufacturing.

Who encourages you the most in your work?  My wife. More than physically tired I'm mentally exhausted sometimes and we wear a lot of hats, she helps me stay on track.

What is something crazy that you would love to take a big risk on and try? I'm doing it now, haha. Starting over when you're 33 is scary but worth it. But besides that I'd love to go to a trade show in Japan and possibly get some overseas regular customers.

Is there anything else you would like to share? We hold classes and workshops of different types, from hand stitching leather to sign painting. We hope that W Durable Goods becomes an exciting place where people can learn about old trades and connect with the past.


The work W Durable Goods is doing is timeless.  I picture this place in thirty years being a little dustier, but in the same place making the same original, quality product.  


Go check them out at 901 Foch St, Fort Worth, TX 76107.