New College of Florida, Ringling College of Art & Design and USF of Sarasota-Manatee are all located on a one-mile strip of U.S. 41 in North Sarasota. Sarasota’s Coffee Loft has achieved its lofty aspiration of becoming a safe and sociable gathering place for students every day of the week. Although the school campuses are quite beautiful they are located along a stretch of Tamiami Trail that is littered with motels and liquor stores, 24 hour food marts and vacant lots. The Coffee Loft has become a magnet that unites the students of all these schools providing them with a social atmosphere and a place to study, surf the web and relax.
And, did I mention the coffee? All the beans are fair trade and this non-profit business is all about giving back to the community and the coffee growers. From basic black to frothy cappuccinos and lattes, they prepare some of the finest coffee in town along with sodas, smoothies and their signature Charity Water whose proceeds go to build wells around the world for pure drinking water. There are sandwiches, pastries and deserts along with salads and other items to go.
Sarasota’s Coffee Loft has a marvelous interior with seating both on the main level and up the spiral staircase to the second floor as well as outdoor seating with umbrellas to shade from the sun. The parking lot in the morning is a mixture of hybrids, scooters, bicycles and BMW’s that give you an indication of the diversity of the crowd inside. Sarasota’s Coffee Loft is also achieving its lofty aspiration of becoming a center of art and music, offering entertainment and art shows throughout the week along with Open Mic night. This is a small business that has found its following and gives back to the community every day by bringing people together and giving a strip of asphalt a sense of being a neighborhood. The Coffee Loft is a model for other areas who want to revitalize and rejuvenate their own backyards. Sarasota is home to many wonderful businesses and offers something for everyone.
Click here for Directions to The Coffee Loft