Swill: A large mouthful of community

RENO, NV (KOLO) Seven days a week Swill Coffee and wWne serves up a fresh cup of Joe to anyone who orders it.

But the lattes, mochas or other specialty coffees come with a little extra: a design pretty enough to drink.

“Looks neat,” says Oliver Davis a barista and assistant manager at Swill. “People really like it when they get their coffee fancy. And it is fun for me,” she says.

Davis has been at Swill for four years now.

She says on her first day she knew she was working somewhere different.

The owners do not advertise, and rely strictly on word of mouth to bring the customers in.

Hopefully it's because of the coffee, but Davis says there's something more.

“It says home. It says home and love,” says Davis.
She is referring to a wall of pictures at the coffee shop.

Wayne the owner shows me it is dedicated to customers and employees over the years.

There is the knitting group, the women who meet here frequently for mahjong.

There's a picture of a centenarian Joe who has since passed. But, who came to Swill on a regular basis to talk about the planes he designed.

It is just a small example of how this small coffee shop has enhanced people's lives.

It's remembering customer's names, favorite items on the menu, how their daughter is doing, and what the customer's plans are the rest of the day.

But there is more going on at Swill than just coffee and conversation.

In the back room of the shop, you will find non-profit organizations meeting throughout the day.

On an early afternoon the Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA is meeting.

These informational gatherings take place once a month to recruit people to become a voice for abused or neglected children in foster care who find themselves in the court system.

CASA has been meeting at Swill for years and buys a cup of coffee for potential volunteers.

”Whatever they are doing, what is coming in here in terms of the atmosphere that we find, is perfect,” says Mike Antonucci a CASA volunteer.

Swill owners say this is just the way they do business.

While there are plenty of Starbucks, there is only one of them they say.

They have found the sweet spot amongst coffee, community and commerce.