Three Pines Coffee Sets up Shop at Gallivan

Salt Lake City—After making a name for themselves with their traveling espresso cart, the owners of Three Pines Coffee are brewing a permanent presence a brick-and-mortar coffee shop.

“Our initial plan was five years down the road, maybe we’d open the shop,” said co-owner Nick Price. “But the opportunity for this spot came up and we got this partnership with From Scratch, and we decided to just do it.”

Three Pines Coffee opened Jan. 18 at 52 E Gallivan Ave, adjacent to From Scratch, a restaurant with a locally-sourced menu already established in the area. Three Pines Coffee patrons can take a seat at the end of the From Scratch bar, or buy From Scratch pastries along with their coffee. Price said at some point, they’d like to offer their own pastries based on what their customers want with their coffee, but for now, the arrangement is working well.

“Eventually we’d like to have a bigger shop that’s all ours where we can cater more to the customers—we’re finding they want more savory food with their coffee,” he said. “In this situation, we’re kind of at their mercy with what they have and what staff is available, but it’s working out.”

Last summer, Price and Three Pines’ other co-owner, Meg Frampton, became a fixture outside Liberty Heights Fresh with their small espresso cart. The idea came from a coffee shop in Los Angeles, where the pair—both Utah natives—lived before coming back to the Beehive State. Price worked for Handsome Coffee Roasters manning a traveling espresso cart as a “Handsome Dude,” and wanted to bring the idea back home.

“I really liked the idea of bringing coffee to the people of Utah,” he said.

After the cart started gaining a following at Liberty Heights Fresh, Price and Frampton planned to save up for the capital over the next few years for a permanent coffee shop. The opportunity to move in next to From Scratch caught them a little off-guard, he said, but they couldn’t pass it up, especially with the growing popularity of the Gallivan area.

“We lucked out,” he said. “We got here right at the beginning.”

Over the last couple of weeks, Price said, there has been a learning curve. What they offered in the cart was simple, he said, but some customers have specialized requests for their java at the coffee shop.

“We’re trying to figure out what people expect out of a coffee shop,” he said. “We’re focusing on our coffee and making it the best we can.”

Three Pines does offer some specialty on its menu—its house-made almond milk, perfected with a lot of trial and error. Price said all types of nuts and sweeteners were vetted for their flavor and how well they steamed and blended with the coffee, with the medjool date-sweetened almond milk coming out of the trials as the clear winner.

“It’s totally worth [the extra work] to have something that delicious to give to people, and the fact that we make it in house is just that much better,” Price said.

The Three Pines cart will be back this year, both at Liberty Heights Fresh and at some events throughout the summer and fall. While things might be more complicated in their stationary coffee shop, Price said it’s worth the challenge.

“It was a lot easier with the cart. This is a lot more fun, having customers come in and helping them,” he said. “Having a coffee shop has been a dream for a while.”