When it comes to coffee, some prefer the basics, such as an iced vanilla latte, and others like something more experimental, such as a double shot with chocolate and strawberry. No matter the preference, Soulé has options all over the spectrum.
Soulé Cafe is a coffee shop based out of Florence, South Carolina, that has moved onto wheels as Soulé Coffee Truck. Now, Soulé brings Soda City shoppers a variety of drinks, no matter how odd they might seem.
“Hey, you want a drink with three shots and caramel mixed with strawberry? That sounds crazy, but I love it,” Ezra Brown, owner and founder of Soulé, said.
Brown said his Starbucks orders tended to be "really tricky" and ordering "became a hassle," so while on a visit to see his mom in his hometown, he decided to open up a coffee shop of his own.
Soulé has since switched its business over to a coffee truck and has been taking drink orders for Soda City customers every Saturday.
“Everyone that came [to Soda City] was just so amazingly loving,” Brown said. “They wanted to try different things, they asked us questions and we grew with them.”
Brown’s sister, Wanda Joe, said she started helping out at Soulé in her time off from her nursing career “when it wasn't even Soulé yet.”
Joe said one of her favorite parts of setting up at Soda City is seeing the line of people waiting to place their drink orders.
“It’s like a challenge every week,” Joe said.
Joe said she enjoys experimenting with new drinks, such as a spinach smoothie with espresso and chocolate, as a way to be creative and do something outside of the medical profession.
Brown said Soulé wants its customers to “be comfortable in being different,” and the business puts an emphasis on putting people first and acting as a community.
“At Soulé, we push the fact that we want you to be you, completely you, and we want to love you for you,” Brown said. “Everything about Soulé is about a community.”
Brown said locally sourced fresh fruit is used in Soulé's drinks. Lemons, orange slices, rosemary, mint and peppermint garnish drinks and support the local community at the same time.
Sabreen Akram, owner of S & K Tea & Coffee, said there is a “tremendous” importance when it comes to supporting other coffee shops. She is planning on opening her own booth at Soda City in November to sell "loose-leaf gourmet tea" and whole and ground bean coffee, and she came to Soulé as a first-time customer to expand her knowledge on the coffee scene.
“I love just learning more about it,” Akram said.
Akram walked away from Soulé with an iced caramel macchiato and plans to return in the future.
Brown said it's important to support other businesses.
“It’s a community. It's not just the Soulé world or the Soulé channel, but we’re here to support other businesses, also,” Brown said.
On Saturday afternoons after Soda City, Brown and his friends can be found visiting Curiosity Coffee Bar and Indah Coffee. He said he goes to these businesses every Saturday after closing down the Soulé Coffee Truck.
Brown said all of these coffee shops, including his own, "have a different viewpoint on the same thing:" coffee.