In Frame: Charleston's Black Tap Coffee

Posted by Dara Segal on Nov 06, 2014

One of the best things about being in the custom framing business is the front row seat we have to the special moments and memories that people choose to commemorate for their walls.  Sometimes it’s a beautiful wedding portrait, or a piece of art purchased on an unforgettable vacation. Sometimes it’s something as simple as a photo of your favorite coffee shop.

A month or so ago, I noticed an order come through from a college friend, Cabell, who I hadn’t seen in years. It’s always fun to see names that I recognize in our roster of orders, and I was excited to be able to frame something for Cabell’s home in New York, whatever it was.

A few weeks later, I was in Charleston, South Carolina for a friend’s wedding and to meet up with the newest member of the Simply Framed team, MK Quinlan. I got a quick South of Broad tour that ended at Black Tap, a charming coffee shop in the heart of downtown. About halfway through my lavender latte (if you’re ever in Charleston, put these at the top of your tasting list), a familiar blonde walks through the front door, and what do you know, it’s Cabell. Cabell lives in New York. I live in Denver. We were not in Charleston for the same wedding. The coincidence blew our minds.

Simply Framed at Charleston's Black Tap Coffee

I’m not sure what trippy movie to reference here. Actually, A-ha’s “Take on Me” music video seems strangely relevant (art becomes real life? and it opens in a coffee shop, so...)—but it turns out that the two photos that Cabell sent to us for framing were 1) a photo of Black Tap and 2) a photo of Black Tap’s lavender latte.  And here we were, full circle, meeting for the first time in four years in this exact spot, me with a fresh lavender latte mustache.

Cabell’s husband’s family is from Charleston, so the two get back to the Holy City several times throughout the year. Black Tap is Cabell’s happy place, and her husband was sweet enough to commission local photographer Olivia Rae James to take a couple of photos of the shop so that Cabell could bring some happy to the walls of her New York apartment.

Olivia Rae James's photographs of Charleston's Black Tap Coffee, framed by Simply Framed

Olivia Rae James's photos of Black Tap and its famous lavender latte, framed in our white gallery frame. 

You might not know me, or Cabell, or ever have sipped a lavender latte at Black Tap, but hopefully this story makes you smile. The world is big and crazy and complicated, but on this day in Charleston, it was small in the best way possible.


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