The coffee belt is an area between 30 degrees north and 30 degrees south of the equator, where specialty coffee is produced and distributed around the world.
This region became the naming inspiration for Thirty-Thirty, a locally-owned coffee shop in Peoria dedicated to providing quality drinks as well as experiences.
Thirty-Thirty flourishes with a straightforward menu design that features house-made drinks as well as treats from local businesses. Fresh pastries are delivered daily from Ardor Breads and Provisions, and coffee is sourced directly from ethical farms. According to the owner, Steve Elmore, the shop’s top priority is providing high-quality service to everyone who visits.
“We love highlighting those who are doing great things right here in Central Illinois,” Elmore said. “We like to be a hub that shows Peoria has a lot to offer.”
Thirty-Thirty provides a welcoming environment filled with natural light and cozy seating, for those who choose to study or chat with friends inside. At the counter, baristas are open to questions from curious customers about the process of brewing and crafting coffee.
“We have always based our approach to customer service, interior design and layout and dissemination of information on the community,” Elmore said. “At the end of the day, we want specialty coffee to be accessible.”
Sophomore Lydia Williamson visits Thirty-Thirty regularly to enjoy both the environment and the beverages when she has time between classes.
“I love the atmosphere and how comfortable it feels to be there,” Williamson, animation major, said. “The baristas are always so nice and remember me, so I always feel welcomed.”
In addition, the coffee shop develops seasonal coffees, called “signatures,” that play with unique flavor profiles, such as the rosemary lavender latte or the ginger molasses latte. According to Elmore, customers’ beverage requests are always appreciated and heavily considered.
To make enjoying specialty coffee more accessible, the owners implemented a new ordering system that allows customers to order online and pick up beverages on the counter upon arrival. Customers can select a time frame to pick up their order and pay online.
Having been open for over a decade, Thirty-Thirty has faced a multitude of challenges, the COVID-19 pandemic being the most recent. Like other small businesses, the shop had to adapt.
“In some cases, COVID has strained relationships because we are one of the few companies that enforced mask mandates strictly on this most recent wave,” Elmore said. “In other cases, it strengthened relationships with those who knew that their safety means a lot to us.”
Thirty-Thirty’s wholesale business has grown significantly during the last two years, as there has been a high demand for products and services to support smaller, growing shops.
“It has given us the opportunity to work with a lot of amazing people and help them achieve their vision when starting a new company,” Elmore said. “We have been fortunate to see steady growth in that area.”
Thirty-Thirty Coffee Co. is located at 734 Main St. and is open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays.