Blue Sail’s Technology park location provides them a built in base of customers coming and going from the technology park, plus easy access for others in the general area to walk in from the street. It sits just inside the entrance of the Technology Park, and while the space is shared with the center, it does give them a considerable upgrade in seating compared to their previous expansion in Midtown Conway.
The seating is a good mix of casual and work driven seating. I appreciated the popup power connectors on the pub style tables, often when you sit in the middle of the room you are stranded without any power. This solves that problem. There is additional seating upstairs that coffee goers can use as well.
Blue Sail will cover a typical line of coffee and espresso drinks. For food they will have a few offerings from Honey Pies, Dempsey Bakery, and house made pastries from their Conway location. From Honey Pies they will offer breakfast calzones, which sound amazing, along with their cinnamon rolls and oat bars that are served in the WLR pie shop.
There are two things that I have found make a good coffee shop. Quality of beans and barista training. Blue Sail hits both well.
In your standard black coffee the beans really shine and the quality comes out strong. Blue Sail’s are probably #2 in the state right now, which is saying a lot considering #1 (Onyx) frequently wins national awards. The beans are high quality and I fully expect those to only get better as their roasting program grows.
On the other side for espresso drinks, barista training is critical. There are so many that do not appreciate the science and art behind a good espresso pull. What separates a decent coffee shop from a great coffee shop is taking the time to produce a consistent training program. In reality it needs to be treated like a bar program, with training, guidance, and continuing education. If you have ever had a waitress make you a cocktail at a restaurant you know the quality difference between that and a seasoned bartender. It is the same with coffee.