Admittedly, I was late to the Nexus Coffee & Creative game, but as the saying goes – well, you know how the saying goes. It only took a few visits to realize the error of my ways. And here is the thing, while Little Rock is sprinkled with local coffee shops throughout town that all have their advantages, Nexus just feels a little different from all the rest. There is just something about the inviting interior with hanging coffee sacks from the ceiling, little work nooks and tables filled with local artisan wares.
Started in 2017, the downtown coffeehouse and creative space is the brainchild of owner Amy Counce.
“Since I was young, I always loved bringing people together into one central place making sure they felt inspired, valued and appreciated. Nexus all started on a napkin back in the fall of 2016 at a local cafe here in Little Rock. I remember sitting at the table across from my dad, writing out the initial dreams of our business, not having any idea it would lead to where it is now. I just know there was a calling I had to help create a space for Little Rock,” says Counce.
As the name suggests, there are two sides to Nexus Coffee & Creative, and as you might guess, they both intermingle. First and foremost, Nexus makes a mean cup of coffee, thanks in part to teaming up with the likes of Leiva’s Coffee and Round Mountain Coffee for the beans.
“We are a multi-roaster and big-time coffee hub that offers a variety of coffee and tea beverages that pair with our house-baked pastries and simplified food menu. Our focus is on artisanal products that are crafted with intention and detail. We are most known for our Nitro cold brew coffees on tap that offer a unique and scientific approach to the world of coffee,” says Counce.
Just make sure to have your coffee with one of their house-made baked goods, like a blueberry mega muffin or a cranberry scone. The mega muffin is taller than a typical muffin, resembling a popover that rises high above the tin, while the scone has a dense, yet soft texture with a nice dusting of sugar that gives it a subtly sweet taste.
There really is no shortage of food and beverage to keep one happy, and it all pairs wonderfully with the other half of Nexus: the creative.
“Nexus means a central place or connecting point. We are a gathering place where all different kinds of people can come together to create, connect and feel a part of community. Our vision is to cultivate creative thinking, be a friendly space for families and host entertainment events for our night life downtown. We truly want to be a hub and lighthouse for our downtown community of Central Arkansas and beyond.”
I had the pleasure of meeting Amy Counce on my second visit to the coffeehouse. Her energy and drive were palpable. Standing around for a few minutes and taking it all in, it was clear that she not only has put together a winning team, but also has a concept that is being embraced by the community.
“We are founded on the three Cs: coffee, creative and community. Our heartbeat is in community and giving back. Every single relationship we form with our customers matters to our team. We wanted to create an environment where local artists, musicians and makers can share their story and have a platform while also feeling appreciated for all their efforts.”
I would say it is a job well done.
Nexus Coffee & Creative
301 President Clinton Avenue, Suite B (Phone: 501-295-7515)
Current Hours: Monday-Saturday 7 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (dine-in, curbside, carry out, and delivery within a 5-mile radius)