We're thrilled to follow the continuing story of Three Keys Coffee, the jazz-loving, design-minded Houston coffee brand founded in 2019 by Tio and Kenzel Fallen. Very happy news indeed, then, to report here on Build-Outs of Summer about Three Keys' forthcoming coffee cultural hub in Houston's Greater OST/South Union neighborhood. This is one to watch in the coming months. Read on!
As told to Sprudge by Kenzel Fallen.
For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?
Three Keys Coffee is a craft coffee roastery that offers a multi-sensory coffee experience through taste, sight, and sound. We explore the connection between art, music, and coffee through vibrant bag design, curated Spotify playlists to pair with each roast, and top-quality, well-roasted coffee. Three Keys takes its inspiration from jazz, deriving its name from the valves of the trumpet—an instrument of simplicity that uses just three keys to produce notes across a creative and complex range of tonal outputs.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
We purchased a 1,500-square-foot metal mini-warehouse. It will allow us to accommodate two roasters and even have space for a small playroom for our kids so that they can come along with us to work.
What’s your approach to coffee?
Three Keys speaks a language that’s multicultural, inclusive, and approachable to anyone who is willing to slow down and share a cup. You don’t need to be a connoisseur to participate. Looking at the history of vinyl recordings as an analogy, that recording format was one of the first means of bringing aspects of a live music set/club into the home. This allowed for wider audiences to listen and enjoy the sounds of the time. In turn, jazz was able to gain huge popularity. We intend to do the same with our coffee. We intend to connect with not only the occasional consumer but also the connoisseur and increase the appreciation for specialty coffee in a relatable and approachable way through music.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
How is your project considering sustainability?
Our head roaster and co-founder, Tio, is a mechanical engineer, who is keenly aware of some of the environmental impacts of our operations and has outlined a few initiatives to focus on sustainability.
However cost control with this project is of utmost concern so to whatever degree we can upcycle/recycle, we intend to do so (e.g. using wood from the Giesen delivery crates for shelving or tables). Additionally we have a few larger projects in mind that we want to advance depending on available budget, such as efforts to recycle chaff and exploring renewable energy possibilities (although that's much longer term).
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
We are DIYing a lot of the planning for this project as much of it depends on city/state code requirements and we can't get as creative as we would like to in the design of the space. We are serving as our own General Contractors (GCs) but we do have a couple of folks in mind that we would want to utilize from a design and crafts perspective. We just haven't made it that far yet!