For Linsay Smith of Gypsy Cup, it’s all in the details, and one look around the newly minted brick and mortar in Gilbert’s Heritage District proves it.
Smith's precise eye for design can be seen in the artwork adorning the walls, the fresh cut flowers placed on tabletops, the blazing blue La Marzocco espresso machine and matching banquettes, and in gold accents seen everywhere from cutlery to lighting.
“Details are everything. It’s almost annoying how much I think about them,” Smith says. “I go overboard sometimes, but it matters. The energy of a space is so important. People feel it."
Following a long construction process, the permanent location of Gypsy Cup opened in downtown Gilbert in early May. Now, customers can enjoy the atmosphere, along with the food and drinks at the new cafe and restaurant.
The idea for the coffee truck came when Smith was up in the middle of the night with baby number three. She was scrolling through Instagram and came across a picture of a tiny teardrop-shaped trailer converted into a coffee shop. At once her lifelong love of coffee and travel converged into a lightbulb moment and Gypsy Cup was born.
“Excellence takes practice and so you have to be willing to start somewhere, be humble, make mistakes, not be perfect, and put in the hours to make it something great,” Smith says. She also wanted to model those principles for her three young children. “I couldn’t expect them to take risks that I wasn't willing to take myself.”
That trial and error mindset propelled Gypsy Cup into food truck success and pushed Smith to create some of her most popular recipes, most notably her Vanilla Bourbon Cold Brew, a smooth sip infused with Madagascar vanilla and bourbon in the brewing process.
“I always have a vision and then it’s all about adapting and tweaking,” Smith says. “I never want to get stagnant, so I am always trying to learn, create and surround myself with the best coffee professionals I can find. I go to trade shows, trainings, read books and then much of it is intuitive.”
With the popularity of the coffee truck and Smith's dedication, the obvious next step was a brick-and-mortar location, she says.
“Our number one question was always ‘Where is your shop?’ We looked into several spots and nothing stuck 'till our current location. Our first look and I knew it was the one,” Smith says.
In a word it’s lovely, a charming spot to gather and gab with friends or sip solo and watch the world go by.
The menu doesn't stop at coffee. As well as Smith's famous cold brew, matcha lattes and lemonade, the menu expanded to include light bites and craft cocktails.
Strawberry Kisses combines prosecco and rose petal liqueur with a hint of strawberry. And of course, there’s an espresso martini that combines concentrated cold espresso with blanco tequila, Licor 43, and chocolate syrup for a velvety sip that smells like vanilla.
In fact, all of the drinks have an aromatic component, including the flavor-packed and provocative zero-proof cocktails that layer ingredients like elderflower tonic and ginger beer perfumed with fresh basil and lavender that’s lit on fire.
There’s plenty to nibble between sips.
The grab-and-go cooler is stocked with yogurt parfaits, overnight oats, and energy bites, but we’re more partial to the pastry section. Parisian-style baked goods come courtesy of JL Patisserie in Scottsdale, and include a rotating selection of monstrously decadent cruffins, plump scones, lovely layered cakes, and dainty strawberry shortcakes.
The menu will continue to evolve, Smith says. But she's started with a bang.
50 West Vaughn Avenue, Gilbert
Hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday