Women supporting women, that’s what we need more of. Our series “Intriguing Women,” does just this through the celebration of women in the workplace and all of their accomplishments. For our 2021 Intriguing Women class, we held a party at Nexus Coffee & Creative in Little Rock, and while honoring all the wonderfully talented women that made our list, I was absolutely blown away by the people that put our party together.
Gretchen Larkan of Gretchen Larkan Events designed a masterpiece of a charcuterie board for our guests. Filling a surface roughly 8 feet long, Gretchen created art out of fruits, pastries other goodies that kept us going back for more. If there’s an award for the most breathtaking charcuterie spread, Gretchen deserves it every time.
Helping out with the food portion was Nona of Nona Bakes. She bakes incredible pastries for Nexus Coffee & Creative, and I recently made a stop at Nexus for AY’s new Coffee and Pastries Bucket List segment with KARK 4, and the baked goods that were laid out in front of me were almost instantly devoured. One item, in particular, the egg bites, was heavenly. They were so fresh-tasting and light, I could have eaten the entire stock at the coffee shop if owner Amy Counce had let me, and this brings us to why we’re gathered here in this story.
I have been working with and getting to know Amy as of late with the Intriguing Women party and the Bucket List show, and every single moment with her is like a breath of fresh air. You have to love Amy, it’s impossible not to. She is possibly the nicest person with the biggest heart, and her business is definitely one of my favorites.
“We always say that [Nexus] started on a napkin. One day when I was sitting across from my father, Matt, we came up with this business idea,” Amy says. “The ‘why’ for the shop was always about community. We have such a diversity in the city, and there needed to be more space for that diversity to gather in one play.”
The name for the shop, Nexus Coffee & Creative, is a story all on its own.
“I loved the word ‘nexus’ because it means a connecting point, somewhere that worlds meet and come together, which is what we did with the worlds of ‘coffee’ and ‘creative.’ This is a place for artists, musicians and anyone else to gather and feel comfortable,” Amy explains.
Since opening in 2016, Nexus has added a performance stage for live music and other entertainment to come in and show off some of the talents we have in the community.
“On Saturdays, we open up the brunch hours for performers to come in and play some live music for the morning guests,” Amy says.
The store also periodically hosts trivia nights, special events for artisans and makers and partnerships with local organizations and businesses. A more recent partnership combines the taste of fresh coffee with a great cause.
“We have partnered with People Against Human Trafficking (P.A.T.H.) for the month of November. We’re releasing a new blend called PATH, and 25 percent of every sale will go directly to P.A.T.H.,” Amy says. “We love supporting our neighbors and Arkansas-based non-profits.”
The coffee shop is always busy, and I mean always. With good brews and good food, it’s hard to imagine that they wouldn’t always have a flood of people going in and out of their doors. Lord knows AY Magazine has kept them on their toes lately.
“It takes a village in our store,” Amy laughs. “I have to brag on my staff every chance I get because they are amazing humans, each unique and bringing a different leadership role to the table.”
Whatever they’re doing, they’re doing it right. The environment is so welcoming and comfortable for any occasion. Whether you’re throwing a fantastic party or just hanging with the girls, Amy and her team have created the perfect environment. Not only are the vibes incredible, but aesthetically the shop is immaculate. So clean and artsy, this coffee shop is truly a staple for the community.
Amy’s passion for this city and for the people of Arkansas is illuminating. You don’t have to spend a lot of time with her to feel her love for what she does and just her genuine love of others. This is the season of being thankful, and I am so thankful for people who are all around good humans.
Go meet Amy for yourself at Nexus Coffee & Creative at 301 President Clinton Avenue in Little Rock, and tune in to KARK 4 next Wednesday at 6:40 am to catch all the good eats and drinks we try at Nexus for AY’s Coffee and Pastries Bucket List.
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