Business Spotlight: Vantage Coffee Roasters – Higher Ground Coffee

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Shannon Taylor, Editor

Nestled quietly within the heart of Martin sits a small coffee shop that many of our readers may not know the whole scoop on.
Vantage Coffee Roasters sits right behind the main Lindell Street business district–away from the hustle and bustle, making it a quiet getaway–but close enough for convenience.

OUTDOOR PATIO-Vantage Coffee Roasters boasts an outdoor patio for customers to enjoy the outdoors as they enjoy their delicious coffee.


What our readers may not know is that Vantage Coffee Roasters and Higher Ground Coffee are owned by one and the same. And Higher Ground Coffee has a notable location, sitting right across from the University on Commons Drive.


Owners, Kevin and Stacie Herrell actually started first with Higher Ground Coffee at a location in Union City in 2007. The Higher Ground Coffee location in Martin opened in 2013. Vantage Coffee Roasters in Martin opened in 2021 and Vantage Coffee Roasters in Union City opened in 2022.

MEET THE OWNERS-Kevin and Stacie Herrell had a dream to open a coffee shop and they have both expanded that to so much more.


Higher Ground Coffee, to them, meant the altitude in which great coffee is grown, which Stacie said is closer to the equator. “We lived in Colorado, and we loved the mountains, so the mountains played a part in the name. A place of fellowship with others–we wanted it to mean spiritually to people a higher ground as well. So, it’s all inclusive,” Stacie said.


The tagline for Higher Ground Coffee is “A Great Place to Be” comes from Kevin, who spoke of a “third place to be” which Stacie said meant a place that’s not home or work, but a place where you can just be.


Vantage Coffee Roasters is Kevin and Stacie’s trademarked brand. Kevin is a consultant for opening coffee shops for a number of people. In the wholesale side of their business, Vantage Coffee Roasters sells to about 16-18 other coffee shops and their warehouse houses everything they sell. They are their own vendor, Stacie said.


“The name Vantage Coffee Roasters stuck because it is a viewpoint, or vantage point, of Higher Ground Coffee and all that it means to us, our family of coworkers, and our customers. We wanted the businesses to complement one another in that there were similarities, but different enough for everyone to enjoy both cafes. Vantage Coffee Roasters cafes allow us to present different extraction methods of coffee and highlight the coffee and teas we blend. It is a place to slow down a bit and enjoy the time you spend,” Stacie said.

VANTAGE FAMILY- Shown here is the Vantage family of employees. Everyone here works together and it’s more than just “work” to them-they’re family.


The Herrell’s lived in Colorado for a short period, and they frequented a local shop, Stacie said, “before coffee was cool.” That experience stuck in the back of Kevin’s head for a very long time, Stacie said.


When they moved to West TN in 1995, Stacie said she didn’t think the area was ready. In approximately 10 years, Kevin decided to pursue the idea of a coffee shop full force, which took a couple of years to get all of the plans together.


In 2007 they opened their first coffee shop. “It’s been receptive ever since,” Stacie said.


“In addition to the area being ready at that time, a lot of people were looking for a place to sit and do their work, have Wi-Fi options, and were appreciative of it and it just kind of grew from there,” Stacie explained.


Stacie said that it’s not just younger people that enjoy coffee shops. “We get little kids all the way up to Grandma and Grandpa, coming in and enjoying the environment and the products we offer,” she said.


Kevin is the roaster of the companies, and he roasts locally every week. The coffee brought into the shops, not only for them to serve, but the coffee they have available to purchase, is no more than a week old, Stacie said.


They have two websites: vantagecoffeeroasters.com and highergroundcoffee.com as well as social media pages for each company under the same name. While the Vantage Coffee Roasters website will take customers to their local retail shop, Stacie said the purpose of the website is for people to be able to go online and buy their coffee online whether it’s a single bag or a month-to-month plan. They also have gift cards available for purchase that work with either company, so customers have the convenience of using their gift card at either shop.


With all of their social media outlets including Facebook, Tik-Tok and Instagram, Stacie said that it’s not just about highlighting their businesses, but highlighting their customers and the people that work for them. “People want to see that. They want to see behind the scenes. They want to see people enjoying the spaces we created. I think that’s what draws people to a place,” Stacie said.


Kevin wrote up something that goes on the back of all the coffee he and Stacie sell, and it serves as a great way to end:

“Vantage Coffee Roasters has one primary purpose…to serve people great coffee. This is made possible by the hard work and dedication of the many people along the way who bring us the specialty coffees we proudly roast and serve in our stores, in your homes, or any other place you feel compelled to enjoy great coffee. Guided by the concept of service, we believe the best way to present the coffees we have the privilege of roasting is to bring them to their fullest potential by simply enhancing the inherent greatness found within. We see coffee people…so we serve people great coffee.”

MEET THE FAMILY-Kevin and Stacie Herrell and their three sons, Matthew, Kyle, and Stephen Herrell.

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