Tiffany Crist, Crema Coffee Bar

Lauren Baker Downtown Stories

“Crema is an Italian word. It’s the part of the shot of espresso that is on top that has all of the flavor. My name is Tiffany and I started working at a coffee shop when I was in college. I started in college as a music major, but got my first job at a coffee shop and fell in love with it, so I switched my major to business and finance. I knew then that one day I wanted to own a coffee shop.

After I left college, I got hired at Starbucks in Arkansas and was a store manager there for a while. While working there, I decided that I really wanted to come back to Hartsville. Part of wanting to come back was due to the fact that my family was here and we are such a tight-knit family. I really missed being near them. The other part of it was that Hartsville has such a good vibe and even though I only lived here for a year before going to college, I knew I wanted to come back someday.

I came back to Hartsville and was a manager at another coffee shop in town for a while. I knew I still had the desire to open my own coffee shop, but was unsure of when or where. I looked in other small towns close to use, but there was just something special about opening up here. This was the place that I wanted to come back to live, so obviously I loved the idea of owning a business here, too. This is such a cool town with a good vibe. Everybody here was so supportive and truly wanted me to open here when they found out that this was a dream of mine.

We have so many options here that people don’t realize because they get so overwhelmed by such a big menu and order the items that they are familiar with. Just because we know what we are doing here doesn’t mean that we are coffee snobs or anything. We love when someone comes in and says the flavors that they like and allow us to make suggestions for drinks that they may have never tried otherwise. We really do enjoy finding something that you would like to drink, and that’s true for all of my employees. We talk about that all the time, like, oh man I got Mr. Coker to try this new drink and he loves it and that’s what he wants from now on. We take so much pride into our coffee and our food items and making sure that our customers love what they get.

It has been amazing to be a business owner in this town that now my children get to grow up in. I’m still a very new mom. My son is only a year and a half old and my daughter is just three months now. I love the ability to bring them up here when I need to. We have such a cool community here that I literally trust everybody that comes in here with my children. I know that if I’m busy for a second that Rhonda might be sitting at a table and Atlas can go over and hang out with her for a little while and it’s not a bother. Even my son Atlas is already making coffee or helping me run the register when there are people here that we know. It’s so cool to me the community that has been built here and how my customers have already have become sort of family themselves. It’s more than just coffee for us.”

-Tiffany Crist, Owner, Crema Coffee Bar