On February 1, 2018 Palace Coffee Company opened our fourth location on the campus of Amarillo College. To get here was quite a journey. Before we get to how this transpired, first, here is a quick history lesson.
Seven years ago, we were in the beginning stages of construction of Palace Coffee in Canyon, Texas. Our goal was simple. We wanted to create a space that was warm and inviting for everyone all while serving tasty coffee in a thoughtful way. That really was it. Well, there was one more thing. We wanted to prove that not only did small town America deserve great coffee, but that it could be done and we could stack up against other shops in larger areas. Since then we have traveled to many regional and national coffee competitions and proved that very thing by winning America’s Best Coffee House.
We won this competition just as we were opening our second location in Downtown Amarillo on historic Polk Street. We were completely satisfied (and occupied) with two locations when we were approached to go into the Summit shopping center with Amarillo National Bank. Like any forward thinking business owner we said, no thanks. We didn’t want to overextend ourselves financially. When they returned our offer with an offer to pay for the build out we decided we would be ignorant not to graciously accept. That location has been one of our most profitable, ironically. Soon after our Summit location opened, we began focusing on redesigning our Downtown location to include a roastery (a project that had been put off a bit while we opened the Summit location). This is where the journey to Amarillo College begins.
In August of 2016 Amarillo College reached out to all the local coffee shops in Amarillo. A group of Amarillo College staff members met with each shop and discussed their vision and desire for adding a coffee shop on campus in the Student Union Building. Each local coffee company was asked to consider sending in a proposal for their business to partner with AC to bring the student body what they were longing for. Three local shops submitted proposals and Palace was selected to move forward in the process.
If we are being fully honest, we were stunned that we were selected. And quickly, we got very excited. We were excited because we knew the heart behind Amarillo College and how they care for their student body lined up exactly with our vision and how we strive to care for the guests that walk in any of our locations. It goes back to the very reason that Palace exists. We could not wait to create a space inside Amarillo College that was warm and inviting and that would give students, faculty and the surrounding neighborhood a place for community. We wanted to create a place right there on the campus that everyone could be proud of. We wanted to create an environment where everyone feels valued and welcomed and like they belong. We can’t say that we will always hit the mark and that everyone will feel this when they sit in our space, but we can say that is our heart and our desire.
It took 18 months. It was a journey. There were ups and downs. There were many, many frustrations. But at the end of the day, the thing that kept us positive and moving along in the process was knowing that we were going to get to serve the wonderful people on campus every day. We hope that you will come in and meet our amazing staff. They are so excited to be a part of the AC culture and community.
Patrick and Krystal
Palace at AC is open:
- Monday through Thursday from 7am to 7pm
- Friday from 7am to 4pm