By Samantha Carvallo
In hopes to reshape the coffee shop standards, Lawrence Bridges decided to put his business hand forward and build Temperance House Fine Coffee in 2019 in Demorest, Georgia.
“My buddies and I would go up to another coffee shop every morning…and we felt like we weren’t getting the service we would have liked,” said Bridges. “One of my other friends looked at me one day and said, ‘Why don’t you open a coffee shop and we all would have a place to go?’ and I decided to give it a shot.”
After approaching Demorest City Hall about a new potential business, Bridges was able to get a lease in April 2019 for the vacant space that used to be the Piedmont Bookstore.
“When I took the building over, it looked very sterile,” said Bridges. “The walls were gray, the ceiling was bright white and the floor was covered in tile. It was difficult to find anyone to do the renovations at the time so I ended up doing it all myself. I wasn’t even fully ready to open come August 1st of 2019, but I just had to get the business started to get some money flowing.”
But why stop at having just a coffee shop? On Aug. 1, 2021, Bridges opened up the Public House Brew in addition to the coffee shop to further his business plan.
“We had a five-year business plan in place that included beer and wine at our two year point,” said Bridges. “Now I am waiting to hit my three-year point to add further changes.”
Junior mass communications major Rowan Edmonds worked as a barista at Temperance for a little under a year and learned a lot from her time there while serving customers.
“I really liked my coworker and my boss, Lawrence. Meeting new people was awesome,” said Edmonds. “I got really good at making coffee and lattes. I learned to be a lot more patient with people during my time there and it was a great experience.”
Junior biology major Catherine Mote is still currently working at Temperance as a barista and bartender. She has been able to make a lot of friends and gained new organizing skills since she started working there in 2020.
“I’ve definitely learned to be better about organizing and planning due to the schedule making,” said Mote. “I’ve also gained a lot of friends and had some neat conversations with people I never would have met otherwise. Temperance is actually where I started to become friends with one of my current roommates because she would study there all the time.”
The aim for growth continues for the Temperance House as Lawrence Bridges progresses through his business plans. Adding another business to the area impacted the tiny town that Piedmont University is located in.
“The coffee shop added another aspect to Demorest being a destination,” said Bridges. “We’re moving along. You will be amazed by what’s to come in downtown Demorest.”