Recently we had the pleasure of visiting The Groove Coffee Shop in Fairmont, West Virginia. The Groove is owned and operated by the delightful Taylor McCartney, who was born and raised right in Fairmont. The music themed coffee shop celebrated its one year anniversary in March 2023. Entering The Groove is an instant mood boost as you feel part of the process in this special coffee bar. One of the most unique things about the space is that Taylor, owner and barista, is in front of the bar, not behind it. This unique characteristic creates an inclusive experience that is so distinct and welcoming. We sat town with Taylor to learn more about the birth of this special place…
BB: So Taylor tell us why coffee and how you started The Groove.
TM: I have always loved coffee, tea and the whole environment of a coffee shop. I never really planned on having a business, but I saw the need for a local coffee shop in the White Hall area of Fairmont and I just thought, why not me? I knew nothing abound espresso machines or coffee grinders. The first challenge was saying, yeah I’m doing this. I recall sitting on my couch in my apartment and placing a $9,000 order for equipment and that’s when I was like, okay this is happening! I knew that I was good at hospitality and customer services and then I just watched a lot of YouTube videos and practiced from there.
BB: Love it! And how did you come up with the name?
TM: We’re still debating that one! It was me, my boyfriend, who is an owner/investor, and my best friend Emma. We were spitballing names and The Groove came up because we collect vinyl. Also the idea of you gotta drink your coffee to get in the groove. I think the name groove has a lot of meanings and I really like that name; I even got it tattooed on me!”
BB: We love the name and the whole vibe here! How would you describe your style here at The Groove in your own words?
TM: I would say it’s very eclectic. It’s very much what I enjoy looking at, drinking and listening to. The records on the wall I did as some easy decor and they’ve become a main focal point of my business and a good conversation starter. Also, my friend Emily does all the plant work and we have local artwork from Thomas, WV here in the corner. I tried to keep things local.
BB: You have a small space here, what were some of the challenges you met working with a smaller space?
TM: Well, I didn’t think I could pull it off at first. I remember coming here and mapping out the counter with blue tape, but we hired a contractor and we tried it and it worked! We definitely had to be innovative and creative since it is a small space.
BB: So one of the most unique things about this space is the bar. Usually the barista is behind the bar, but you are in front of the bar; is that because of space?
TM: Yeah it’s just how it ended up especially because of electric and plumbing, but it turned out so welcoming and customers are so much more involved in the process. I think it’s more appealing for the customers and they feel involved with the coffee. Kids love it too; they love watching!
BB: It feels so special, like as a customer you have an “in” because you see what’s going on!
TM: Yeah this is so much more me! It’s a space for my customers and they are the reason I am here doing this.
BB: So what do you want your customers to feel and experience when they come here?
TM: Definitely welcomed and a good place to come whether they are having a good day, bad day, whatever – just a good stop. I have so many regulars and I may not know all their names, but I know their drink orders most of the time. I think that’s super important to give them that experience. Just a happy, good feeling place.
BB: So good! We definitely get a great feeling as soon as we step inside here. So you are opening a coffee truck, tell us about that.
TM: So my contractor sent me a message and said he knew about a trailer for sale and I spontaneously said, yes! I said, let’s just do it. I saw the potential and thought it’s the best way for me personally to expand my business and decided to just go to where the people are.
BB: That’s so exciting and we can’t wait for your truck to be out and about! Anything else you want to share or say?
TM: Just come visit! Come try the coffee; we are all about community here.
The Groove sells espresso and tea based drinks as well as some snacks and items from local vendors. Taylor expects to have the coffee truck ready July of this year. You can follow where it will be on Facebook and Instagram.
The Groove Coffee Shop Hours: