Memphians Hayes and Amy McPherson always dreamed of creating their own space in the city. Not knowing what exactly that looked like, the couple has experienced and adventured Memphis side by side for many years now. A little over 4 months ago, their dreams came to real life in a local coffee shop known as Comeback Coffee.
We were excited to sit down and chat with Hayes and Amy to get a behind the scenes perspective on the mission behind their nook in the Pinch District.
Choose901: Are you guys originally from Memphis?
Hayes: Yeah, both born and raised here. So this is home for us. We left for college for 4 years, but any chance we could get to come back here, we were here. This is home.
Choose901: Has opening a coffee shop always been a dream of yours?
Amy: Not necessarily a coffee shop, but both of us since we were young wanted to own something of our own.
Hayes: So we met when we were 12 and started dating at 16. High school sweethearts, college, full deal. Those dreams as individuals were there, and as we grew up together and experienced life together, a coffee shop just seemed to work out best. I had already been in coffee for a little bit at that point.
Choose901: Why the name “Comeback Coffee?”
Hayes: Comeback Coffee means a lot of things for us. One is a nod to our southern roots. We want people to feel like they can come back to us. We want this to be a place that is comfortable and feels like home. We want them to feel like they always have a spot here at Comeback. We also think that Memphis, and specifically the Pinch, is a comeback district. This is a comeback city. There is so much beauty in the city of Memphis and in this district.
Choose901: What’s the mission behind Comeback Coffee?
Hayes: Our biggest mission is we just want to be a place of community. We love making coffee. I think we do it well. I think we do food really well, too. However, all of that is pointless for us if we aren’t making connections with the people coming through our doors. Our goal is to create a space for people to come in and feel like it’s their own. When we opened up our doors, it was no longer Hayes and Amy’s place. It was Memphis’. We have done so many things beyond coffee in this place.
Choose901: What’s been your favorite part since you’ve opened the doors of Comeback Coffee?
Amy: I’ve loved watching people coming in who are shy or maybe not so sure of what their life looks like, but slowly we see their layers break down. People will open up to you at the counter, and that has been the coolest thing. I love getting to know the different individuals coming into the shop.
Hayes: There are shops that have this typical thing of being just a transaction. What’s been cool for us is getting to experience people’s lives with them. We’ve only been open 4 months, but in those 4 months, we have walked through celebrations of life and marriage. We’ve walked people through death and other hardships. It’s been super cool to be a solid part of people’s lives.
Choose901: What makes Comeback Coffee different from other coffee shops in Memphis?
Hayes: What we are doing here is incredibly unique to Memphis. The way it looks, the way everything tastes, the way it’s presented, is all unique to Memphis shops. That’s not necessarily a good or bad thing. It’s just different. It’s an experience thing, and less of what we are doing to make it different. I’m proud of our coffee, but I’m sure there are people doing better coffee than we are. Our food is some of the best in Memphis, but I’m sure some people think other places are doing it better than us. I think what we do is experience.
Choose901: How has the city of Memphis impacted the work you guys are doing?
Hayes: We are who we are because of Memphis. We are born and raised Memphians. This place wouldn’t exist without the community that’s surrounding us. Our opening day was the most insane thing in the whole world. We thought that may die down, but as you can see, we still have different individuals packed in here everyday.
Choose901: Is Comeback Coffee y’alls ‘forever’? Do you plan on opening anything else in the future?
Hayes: I can’t really speak on what the future looks like. We have a lot of dreams, and coffee is a passion. We have a lot of passions. However, Comeback Coffee will only be in one location. It’s hard to recreate something like this.
Choose901: If you could tell people one thing about Comeback Coffee, what would it be?
Hayes: I would say just to come try us. We don’t care what you’re going through in your life or how much money you have. We don’t care if you buy anything. We just want to see you. Our space is made the way it is so that it feels comfortable. We have people come in here who are nursing students and have been going through terrible things. They get to come in here, and for an hour of their day, not think about anything. We are also a place for anyone in the business district downtown to come in and grab a cup of coffee in 5 minutes. We just want to encourage people to come try us, relax, and come experience this with us.
Swing by Comeback Coffee soon to meet Hayes and Amy while experiencing an incredible space with delicious coffee. If you’re interested in learning more about their space, check out their website and Instagram.