Thrift store and cool place to hang out have never been phrases that I would have put together — until now.

When you go to a thrift shop you sometimes may have experienced that, ‘oh I’m here, but it’s kind of embarrassing and smells funny’ kind of feeling. Not here. Put any notions that you’ve ever had about a thrift store aside: Brown Roof Thrift Store and Coffee Bar is unlike any place you’ve been.

“We didn’t want to just be a thrift store in a sea of thrift stores, we wanted to be different,” coffee shop manager Brandon Mays said. “We want people to be completely comfortable here. We want this to be a place of refuge for our community.”

When I visited the store, it was full of people hanging out. Some were on laptops and tablets, others sat in comfortable chairs reading or studying and some were in deep in conversation.

“Part of our mission is to get people in community,” Mays said. “We have a lot of people who come in just to grab a coffee, college students who come in to do their homework and families who come in after their trip to the farmers market.”

Community is very important at Brown Roof. Profit from the store and coffee shop is split between five different Spartanburg charities: P.S. I Love You, Hope Remains Youth Ranch, SPHIN, English Crossing and Mobile Meals.

The nonprofit organization was the brainchild of Robert Caldwell, a college freshman. The idea was part of his senior project at Oakbrook Preparatory School in Spartanburg, Mays said.

“He is passionate about his community,” he said.

The store, a combination coffee shop and thrift store, held quality standards that I didn’t expect. Besides having a unique and fun vibe, the coffee shop serves excellent coffee.

“When we choose our roasters, we look for companies that roast in a way that reflects how coffee is intended to taste,” Mays said. “All of our coffees are roasted in a small roaster to ensure evenness in the roast. We think taste is important. You can get a lot out of a cup of coffee. We are passionate about coffee."

Not a coffee fan? The shop also offers seven different teas including green, black, white and chai. Smoothies, muffins and bagels are also served.

Brown Roof is also looking for volunteers.

The store itself is well organized, but still offers a fun treasure hunt.

You can go

Brown Roof is located at 141 Fernwood Drive, Spartanburg. It is open 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Mondays – Saturdays. Donations are accepted.

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