Through her eyes: A millennial girl takes on Central Florida
By Alisha Ashford
A coffee shop culture has developed.
It seems as though in our times, the most popular local hang-out spot for young adults in the Orlando area is whichever coffee shop has the best study environment, the trendiest décor, and of course the most enjoyable coffee.
Right now, that coffee shop is Foxtail Coffee Co.
The Orlando area has a wide array of coffee shops—some are sophisticated establishments while others are hole-in-the-wall spaces. On the other hand, Foxtail seems to be a place where pretty much anyone and everyone can feel comfortable to come in and work or hangout.
Their first shop launched in 2016 at the Winter Park location. According to Iain Yeakle, co-founder of Foxtail Coffee Co., they “wanted to build a space for the community—for people to come and not just to drink coffee.” He goes on to call it “a creative space to come and meet, and celebrate, and everything in between.” This vision has proved to live up to what they intended. For a while now, this coffee shop has been a place for me to study, hang out with friends, and at times, just to pick up a latte to get me through the day.
I probably spend way too much time in the coffee shops — enough to notice that there is a sense of community about Foxtail that I haven’t seen in any other place. The first time I realized there was something different about their shop was when I went in to meet up with a friend of mine and ended up running into about five other people I know, none of whom arrived together and were all there for various reasons. Now it seems like every time I go into my local Foxtail in Altamonte Springs I see my friends, people I go to church with, and people that go to school with me.
It is not often that Central Florida can feel anything like a small town, but going to Foxtail makes me feel like the area is closer knit than before. For someone who values community, that sentiment is important. Even the co-founder feels as though their vision for Foxtail has been a success when he comes in and sees this sense of community stating, “that’s it for me—witnessing people enjoying the space is very rewarding to me.”
Why is it that people are choosing this shop as the hang-out when the options are seemingly endless? I believe what attracts so many people to this shop is the same thing that attracts me: comfort. According to Iain, “people come in here, go into the courtyard lay in the grass, and take their shoes off, it’s very casual.” “It’s a super comfortable space where anyone can create, come and work, and hang out all day.”
But it’s not just the communal space that makes Foxtail so unique.
Their coffee is roasted in-house, allowing them to serve it at the freshest point possible. Foxtail makes a difference in the world with products environmentally too, sourcing their coffee from organic farms from all over the world. Sourcing organically makes such a profound impact by supporting farms that don’t release toxic chemicals that pollute the earth.
It is evident to see that I am not the only fan of this place. The other day, I parked my car at a grocery store in Altamonte Springs and noticed that three other cars parked right next to me had the Foxtail stickers on their cars. I see them everywhere I go now.
With four Foxtail Coffee Co. locations and two new ones coming soon, this coffee shop is becoming all the rave in central Florida, and by the looks of it, it’s only getting bigger.
Alisha Ashford is a graduate of Lake Mary High School that spent a year in Spain through a student exchange program. She is currently a journalism major at Seminole State College.