When you talk to Darren Spicer and John Anderson, co-owners of Clutch Coffee Bar, you understand that their business isn’t just a business – it’s much more. It’s more like a family working together to better its community.
The pair opened up their first drive-thru Clutch Coffee Bar location at 154 W. Plaza Drive in Mooresville on March 3, and their second location followed later that month at 356 Williamson Road in Mooresville.
Spicer and Anderson are both originally from the same hometown in Oregon.
“My mom was actually John’s teacher,” Darren said.
They finished school, graduated and went different ways, but crossed paths again when they were in their 20s.
“We both have a passion for coffee, but mostly for people,” Spicer said. Therefore, they decided to establish a business together that centers around people. Next was to settle upon a location.
Anderson said they wanted to launch their business in an area that is “growing but is under-served in coffee.”
They looked at the demographics of both the Nashville and greater Charlotte areas, noting the areas each offer a younger community where people are always on the go.
“Our broker sent us these property locations (in Mooresville), and I went the next day” to check them out, Anderson said. That was in November 2017. Anderson said he called Spicer, who was actually on his honeymoon at the time, and told him, “This is the place.”
The previous owner wanted to retire and so “we had a great opportunity to buy these two businesses,” Anderson said. On Dec. 20, 2017, it became official.
And since their opening, “things have been going great,” said Spicer. “We got a great reception from the community and have built some quality relationships. A big component of what we do is building relationships.”
The employees, who number approximately 30-35 between the two locations, recognize the repeat customers and have come to know them and what they want before they are able to order, Spicer noted.
“We know more than half of our customers,” Anderson said. “It has been so awesome. We are a giant family. It’s a great feeling when you can make that impact.”
“We are excited to be here and honored to earn their business,” he said.
While they are involved in a business, both will be quick to say it’s more than just serving a cup of coffee. There are the three C’s of Clutch – Customers, which is relationship driven; Culture, as they are one big family; and Community, as they want to become a pillar in the community.
While trying to follow the three C’s of their business, in addition to building relationships, they are reaching out to help others, both in the business family and in the community family.
(We) “don’t want to just give, but want to have purpose in giving,” said Spicer. When they learn of a need, they ask, “What can we do to help? We are a family and want to aid.”
That led to the company helping one of their employees who learned she had cancer.
Just recently, an employee told them about her brother being deployed, which resulted in their decision to collect and assemble care packages for the troops.
“She shared about his deployment and it mattered to her family, so we thought how can we help? It was rewarding to assemble care packages for the troops,” Spicer noted.
And they were able to see the photos of the troops after they received those packages.
And come Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, “we are planning another way to help others in the community and plan on loving on the community,” said Anderson.
They are calling it ‘Clutch Love Day’ and are planning for all proceeds from that day to go to the Mooresville Soup Kitchen.
“We have the opportunity to be the conduit and provide that means of giving,” said Anderson. This way you can enjoy your coffee and come and help with a great cause at the same time, he noted.
Clutch Coffee Bar is also offering local support by sponsoring a young race car driver, 12-year-old Gray Ledbetter. The Clutch Coffee logo can be on Ledbetter’s car as she races UTV and mini-outlaws and go-karts at GoPro Motorplex in Mooresville.
When asked about their name, Anderson said that Spicer came up with that.
Being a big sports fan, Darren said he came up with the name from a sports connotation as in those clutch shots that are made, thus “delivering in a crucial moment” being there for high-highs and low-lows.
And that’s just what the Clutch "family" does as they are there for each other and for their larger community family.