Copperline Coffee + Cafe recently opened the doors to its brand-new South Beach Street location in Daytona Beach. After finding great success at the shop’s original Port Orange location, expanding seemed only natural for co-owners Nick and Amelia West, but the question became where?
Although Copperline initially opened a second location at One Daytona in 2019, according to Nick West, the eatery later closed, noting that while they had ultimately outgrown the space, he also hoped for a location that better-suited the coffee shop’s laid-back, country atmosphere that loyal Copperline customers know and love.
And he certainly found the right space.
The coffee shop’s recent expansion in downtown Daytona is one that not only made perfect sense to West, but that has already been warmly embraced by the local community.
“One Daytona was definitely not on brand for us,” West said. “But it feels amazing to be here. I feel like we’re part of the actual community here … and this is a huge upgrade. It was too small in One Daytona to have a full kitchen, but we have a full kitchen here, which is cool. I think people love the food here and they just love the vibe of the place, ‘cause you can get coffee anywhere, really, but I feel like we’re bringing something unique to the table.”
Since its initial Port Orange opening in 2017, Copperline has become an ever-growing community favorite, known, unlike many coffee shops, for its all-day hours of operation and full menu of homemade breakfast and lunch selections. The local shop prides itself on not only its scratch kitchen, range of homemade syrups and use of all local coffee roasters, but also on the loyal community it has fostered, serving as an escape from day-to-day life for so many who walk through its doors.
Deeper than a morning coffee run
“It’s more than just coffee,” head chef/partner Dorothy Hopper said, with a content grin.
For Hopper, Copperline’s expansion is a testament to the years of dedication that both she, the Wests and the remaining staff have poured into the coffee shop, describing it as place where potential in herself and others was always recognized, where skills were perfected and encouragement was constant.
“I feel like I realized my destiny in that kitchen,” Hopper said. “It’s been almost seven years — seven years in June — and I feel like I’ve really grown so much just from working every day in that kitchen … And, you know, it’s so much more about the actual inside of Copperline — the depth of it. I feel like if you do a good job, it’ll come out through the food.”
The self-taught chef, originally from Tennessee, noted that the community’s outpouring of love for the eatery’s authentic Southern menu, elevated country style and individuality has given them the ability to bring their Beach Street dreams to life in an even grander way than they could have ever imagined.
“We’re definitely at a place six and a half years in where we feel more comfortable. I mean, we feel a lot less terrified that we’re gonna lose it all, so the pressure is still there, but also, it’s no pressure at the same time because we know that we’re accepted and that people love us,” Hopper explained. “And, you know, you can sell a quiche, but its just never going to be as good as maybe a kale apple salad with fried chicken or a chicken and waffles. So (all that we offer) allows us to do things like purchase a building like this on Beach Street and make it this nice.”
Many, it seems, would attest to those words, frequenting the local shop for its expansive menu consisting of house-made waffles — like the banana bread, double chocolate and cinnamon roll waffle — the variety of biscuits — like the pimento cheese or fried chicken, red pepper jelly and goat cheese-layered biscuit — alongside a range of savory sandwiches, flavor-packed and freshly-baked pumpkin and banana-nut loafs, cheesecakes, salads and soups.
Copperline’s lengthy coffee menu ranges from hot or iced lattes, cappuccinos, cortado and mochas, to the coffee flight, French press, matcha latte and americano. The café offers an array of mix-in flavors from honeysuckle and house-made vanilla to seasonal options like maple nutmeg, pumpkin spice and sugared almond — my current go-to — as well as several coffee-less beverages, including cider, teas, juices and hot chocolate.
While Hopper’s time in Copperline’s kitchen has made her culinary creativity flourish through consistently praised breakfast, lunch and dessert plates, for her, the real reward comes from the beautifully unique variety of personalities she works with daily.
“I don’t necessarily love cooking or love baking, but I definitely love people,” she said. “I love what I do, I love people and that goes into everything here.”
Detail is everything at Copperline
As calming as the soft hum of Tyler Childers hits filtering through the eatery, Copperline’s dimly-lit dining area is a picturesque masterpiece for vintage décor-lovers like myself. It’s allure, undoubtedly, is due to its distinctive, eclectic style, decorated in aged wall hangings, beaded chandeliers, rustic, mismatched furniture and the warm hug of deep golds, greens, browns and blues radiating throughout.
The café maintained several of the classic décor touches from its Port Orange location, including the addition of overhead string lights, now twinkling above the Beach Street location’s vibrant outdoor patio — a space West insists will be an unmatched, cozy go-to for coffee shop-lovers in the winter months.
According to Hopper, Copperline feels vintage, because it is, noting that the café loves to keep an eclectic, old-country vibe by hunting down unique finds in local thrift stores. From its plates, platters and other dishes, to its wall hangings and more, Copperline has sourced much of its décor from thrift stores and antique shops local to Beach Street — some with over 80 local vendors — a detail that has made Hopper and others fall that much more in love with the café’s new location.
“We believe in Beach Street so much,” Hopper said, “and the people that get it, get it and the people that don’t, will get it — just give them enough time.”
Although it was “no cake walk” expanding into the new space, Hopper expressed her gratitude for the moments of growth, challenges and lessons that have presented themselves throughout the process, noting that it has been years of passion, authenticity and hard work that have led up to this opening — work that she believes will speak for itself when customers visit.
“It’s crazy because, you can do anything. Anybody can do anything,” Hopper said, while looking around in a sort of disbelief. “You can get to a life that you love and enjoy. If you don’t, you can make a plan to better it and get to something like this. Everybody has their Copperline.”
Helena Perray is the restaurant and dining writer for The Daytona Beach News-Journal. A New Jersey native and passionate storyteller, she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook. Support local journalism by subscribing