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Metropolis Coffee Co.

Location: Chicago
Best-seller: Redline Espresso Blend

For eight years, Metropolis Coffee Co., which is both a roasting company and a café, has served its own roasts and blends in its shop, and in other coffee houses in the Chicago area. Manager Tony Dreyfuss says that the diverse neighborhood Metropolis serves is part of the appeal of running the café. “People sit down together, they actually talk,” he says.

When the economy turned sour, Metropolis had to start raising prices, but customers remained loyal. Dreyfuss said that being open about its financial situation made customers willing to dig a little deeper to pay for their morning jolt.

Dreyfuss especially likes to talk to customers about where Metropolis’ beans are sourced and how farmers are compensated for their work. It’s all part of an effort, he says, “to give customers more information about where their coffee is coming from.”

Photo: Metropolis Coffee Co.