For Blue Door Coffee co-owner Nycki Sorensen, coffee shops are more than just a place to grab a quick caffeine boost—they are a place where life happens, she said.
“Owning my own coffee shop has been a lifelong dream for me,” Nycki said. “Coffee shops have just become such an important part of our culture—it’s a place where you don’t have to worry about political lines or religious lines or racial lines. It’s just a place where everyone can come and be a part of a community that is all accepting and encompassing.”
Fulfilling a lifelong dream, Nycki, along with her husband Mark and business partners Chad and Monica Gauntt, opened Blue Door Coffee in November in Waterway Square. The counter-service cafe serves breakfast, lunch and freshly baked goods in addition to specialty coffee and teas.
“We want to focus on the art of the coffee and how it’s meant to be prepared,” Nycki said. “There will be no blender behind our coffee bar. Everything will be very intentionally and individually prepared. We don’t want to be a fast food kind of coffee—it’s going to be a slower, more relaxed atmosphere.”
The cafe exclusively uses Parlor Coffee based out of Brooklyn, which roasts and sends coffee to Blue Door Coffee on a weekly basis, as well as Teema Teas, which offers organic, single-origin teas from a women-owned plantation in Thailand. Nycki and Mark’s son, Nick, serve as “chief coffee executives.”
“We flew out to Brooklyn and were trained directly through Parlor Coffee to learn how to make their coffee the way it was intended,” Nick said. “So we’re bringing that Brooklyn experience here. It’s definitely going to be a new level of specialty coffee to the area that a lot of people haven’t seen before.”
More than coffee
To pair with the cafe’s carefully crafted coffee and teas, Blue Door Coffee offers a variety of classic breakfast items, salads, sandwiches, and savory biscuits and quiches baked daily. Although the kitchen closes daily at 2 p.m., Nycki said baked goods will be available throughout the evening.
“One thing that we have that I don’t think anybody else has in the area is a coffee vinaigrette dressing for our salads,” Nycki said. “I had never heard of it but once I tried it, it was delicious—it’s kind of tangy and sweet, and it’s really fun.”
Nycki said she is most excited about Blue Door Coffee’s signature beverage, Iced Butterfly Tea, which is made from the butterfly pea flower.
“It’s the color of our logo when you brew it, [so]when Teema Teas first showed it to us, I knew we had to have it,” Nycki said.
In addition to food and drinks, Nycki said Blue Door Coffee is a community-driven coffee shop designed intentionally to showcase local art.
“We have a stage that can be used for acoustic nights, and we also have gallery space on our walls where local artists can display their art,” she said. “We also have books and board games and have talked about hosting trivia nights in the future.”
The 1,900-square-foot space includes a coffee bar, workspaces, couches and outdoor seating as well as free Wi-Fi and a small semiprivate room.
“The atmosphere is similar to the types of coffee shops you would find in Houston proper,” Nick said. “It’s a very cool balance of minimalist and modern where you can feel welcome and comfortable.”
As Blue Door Coffee establishes itself in The Woodlands, Nick said he hopes the cafe cultivates its own community of coffee and tea drinkers alike.
“Blue Door Coffee is this idea of hospitality and being an open door to people in the community,” he said. “The name just kind of encompasses everything we want to be in a really cool way.”
Blue Door Coffee
21 Waterway Ave., Ste. 110, The Woodlands
Hours: Mon.-Sun. 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m.