ENNIS — Customers entering the door at 120 North Dallas Street have the opportunity to witness the evolution of an American small business. The Pop Top Coffee Shop is what happens when a person has an idea and the imagination to make it happen. It has been a journey, but one that Dominic and Mandie Tartaglia have embraced, and percolated into what it is now.
The inspiration for the shop, located at 120 N. Dallas Street, came when the couple first moved to Ennis and decided to pay a visit to the local farmers market.
“There were all of these wonderful things for sale and several food vendors,” Mandie said. “But no one was selling any drinks.”
There was a need that the Tartagia’s identified, but they had different ideas of how to fill it.
“I had thought we would just sell water, maybe some soft drinks,” said Dominic. But his wife had grander ideas and a plan.
“I had a vision of a sidewalk café type of environment,” Mandie said. “And I knew that if I wanted to get Dominic on board I needed to involve something he loved.”
That something came in the form of Dominic’s beloved Volkswagen pop-up camper-bus.
The Ennis Farmers Market made it an even easier decision. At its inception, they were not charging vendors for space in an attempt to draw business downtown. So Pop Top Coffee was born.
In the beginning, the plan was very simple. Dominic and Mandie served cold water and hot coffee out of the old Volkswagen. The offerings were highlighted by Mandie’s signature drink, what she called her “Market Latte” served over ice.
Dominic and Mandie’s great coffee and friendly service soon outgrew the farmers market. In May of 2015, they moved into the storefront they now call home.
“The timing couldn’t have been better,” recalled Mandie. “They were in the process of renovating the building and we were able to be involved in the process to make the space work for our need instead of taking a different layout and trying to make it work as a coffee shop.”
Right above the laptop bar complete with free Wi-Fi, the Pop Top timeline is proudly displayed. Across the room is the counter with fresh pastries and the special of the month.
“All of our pastries are baked fresh daily at a bakery a few blocks away. Nothing is ever frozen or trucked in. Even our coffee is roasted right here in Ennis,” Mandie said with pride.
The downtown location helps to maintain the small town feel and there are plans for a walk up window, to make getting a drink while shopping downtown at the many festivals located there.
Sadly the Volkswagen had to go to finance a new expresso machine, but to elevate the quality of the product Dominic and Mandie felt it was a good trade. And they are betting that when customers come and pay them a visit to enjoy a fresh cappuccino or latte, they will agree.