I grew up in a small town about 25 minutes down the road from Auburn, Alabama. The town's name is Lanett, but we affectionately call it (along with the two neighboring towns) "The Valley," because it's almost impossible to separate the three anyway, despite the fact that one is actually in Georgia.
Ever since I left for college, I longed for a coffee shop in them-there parts to meet with people when I wanted to hang out, catch up and drink decent coffee. Occasionally one would pop up in an old storefront in the downtown area, but they never lasted more than a few months. Some Starbucks' appeared in nearby Opelika, AL and LaGrange, GA, which were welcome changes, but not the same as the coffee shops we have in Nashville. I realize this may make me a coffee snob, but so be it.
One glorious day a couple months ago, I discovered The Overall Company.
It is a diamond in the rough. Like a beacon of hipster coffee-drinking culture shining in between a college town and the middle of nowhere, USA. And let me tell you: if you build it, they will come.
It's located in downtown Opelika, AL, which is getting cuter by the minute, by the way.
The whole place is outfitted in rustic wood and industrial accents, and you can buy almost anything you see on the walls. Or sit in.
The building used to be a pre-Civil War overall factory, hence the name. The decor stays true to its origins--especially the door, which I particularly loved. I mean honestly, look at this:
The mismatched comfy chairs and tables make it a welcoming environment for anyone, whether you're going there to study or to catch up with a friend. It's not particularly loud or quiet, so you won't be afraid to make noise, but with some headphones you could easily get some work done.
The first time I visited, they sold a few gourmet popcicles much like the ones in our city, Las Paletas. This time around they've launched a whole new section of the shop called The Pop Factory. It's adorable and you can put all kinds of toppings on your pop. The decor in this section is all factory-themed. Gears everywhere, and tables are made out of doors topped with plexiglass.
The staff are all very friendly and not at all pretentious. They didn't even make a face when I asked if they had almond milk (I have become that person now)--that alone takes a certain level of patience and customer service skills. This quality is an automatic plus, and probably a pleasant side-effect of not being in Nashville. But there IS a little taste of Nashville hidden in this shop--Olive & Sinclair chocolate! It made me happy to see. They said they are the only shop outside of Nashville to get to sell it.
Taste During my first visit, I had a vanilla latte and a delicious cookie. Since I wasn't technically coffee shopping, I don't have an image of the art to rate, but I'd give the taste a solid 8 and the cookie a 10. I'm a sucker for a good cookie.
My second visit last week took us to the Pop Factory first, where I got a coconut pop dipped in chocolate. It wasn't to-die-for, but in retrospect I should have gotten peaches and cream. I was stuck between those two and took a leap. It was very good though, and they also had more exotic flavors like strawberry lavender, if you're into that.
Before we left I got a regular drip coffee, but I wasn't a huge fan of the taste. It may have just been the particular brew, but I didn't care for it much. Granted, I am super picky about what kind of drip coffee I like. Not because I am a connoisseur, but because I am still relatively new at drinking regular non-latte coffee, and I make the same exact kind at home every morning. So I'd rate the drip coffee a 5.
What I love most about The Overall Company is the atmosphere. It was almost always fairly busy, but not crowded, and it's so cozy. I love that the baked goods are all homemade and on display in serving dishes and that nearly all the decor is for sale. They also have an assortment of teas, which I know Elizabeth would appreciate.
In addition to coffee and popcicles, The Overall Company serves up craft beers and fine wines. They offer yummy (looking) food. Their website is inspired. What don't they do, really?
Fedora count: 0 (This wasn't Nashville, so I can't hold it against them too much.)
Level of uncomfortableness upon walking in: negative 100. It's just so cozy and welcoming!
Disheveled facial hair count: at least 1. I wasn't actively searching since I wasn't officially shopping, but I specifically remember one of the baristas having a beard worthy of being a member of the Lumineers.
Level of pretentiousness: 2. I suppose all cool coffee shops come with a bit of pretension, and having gourmet popcicles probably gets it a point or two. I'm okay with a little pretension in the name of popcicles.
Overall (pun totally intended), I would definitely recommend this shop. Great atmosphere, good coffee, and popcicles. You can't go wrong. Plus they are open until 11pm, which saves you from our former faux pas of showing up at closing time.
Have you ever had gourmet popcicles? What flavor did you get? If you've been to The Overall Company, what did you think?