The three partners behind Methodical Coffee had been eyeing the area northeast of downtown as a possible second location for a while. Then they learned that their friends Matt and Jen Moreau, the owners of Dapper Ink, were vacating space in the Stone’s Point strip on Wade Hampton Boulevard (next to Urban Digs and The Community Tap). “We felt that was a really great area that has a mix of residential and commercial and is on a main artery to downtown,” says Methodical co-owner Marco Suarez. “And the neighborhood there is growing like crazy, so we thought we’d get in ahead of the development.”
They formed a partnership with Moreau and his Landmark Project, widely known for graphic tees emblazoned with scenes of national parks and monuments. Opened in late November 2018, Methodical at Landmark occupies Dapper Ink’s former T-shirt production facility, which moved to Hampton Station. The result is a smooth blend of retail store and coffee shop, with The Landmark Project’s outdoor-themed items intermingled throughout the space. Whereas the downtown Methodical location caters more to the grab-and-go business crowd, the Stone’s Point shop, with its soft seating and laid-back vibe, lures folks who want to linger.
Along with the new location came the realization of another long-brewing goal: a food program. And for that, they needed a chef. Enter Sydney Taylor, a recent graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Taylor had returned to Greenville, her hometown, after sharpening her skills in the East Village of Manhattan for a year and a half, and happened to reach out to Methodical at just the right time. Sydney sailed through multiple interviews with different staffers. “Everyone said ‘hire her tomorrow!’” Suarez recalls.
Photography by Paul Mehaffey.
After landing the position, Taylor spent the Christmas break designing a menu for the Methodical brand. When the staff finally did a tasting, they were impressed. “The amount of creativity and flavor that Sydney was able to create in a very simple menu—something that’s at the core of our business—was amazing,” crows Suarez. “She knocked it out of the park.”
The breakfast options Taylor conceived for the new shop include a rose, almond, and olive oil muffin and a parfait of Lowcountry Creamery yogurt and granola spiced with maple, rosemary, and thyme. Lunchtime brings a broccoli sandwich with lemon shishito mayo and sweet and sour cabbage slaw; a kale, tahini, and feta galette; and a salami sandwich slathered with seasonal vegetable pesto (think spring onions or carrot tops). As much as possible, the ingredients come from local farms.
Taylor will oversee the food program for both Methodical locations, and caters her offerings to each shop. Though the Stone’s Point store doesn’t serve alcohol, it’s unique in serving milkshakes made with Jeni’s ice cream and Methodical coffee and tea blends, in flavors like mocha and chai latte.
A Food Network junkie as a child, Taylor enjoyed helping her mother in the kitchen. She remembers trying to improve on the basic grilled American cheese sandwich by using cheddar and gruyère and topping it with bacon and high-quality bread. The result was a revelation.
The 23-year-old chef, who describes her culinary style as “approachable and unpretentious,” is reveling in the freedom she enjoys as part of her biggest culinary responsibility to date. “It’s crazy to be able to design my own menu. I’m having fun exploring different spices and flavors and highlighting different global cuisines.” Snacks such as lavender and sumac popcorn illustrate her playful flavor pairings. “I love to ride the line between sweet and savory,” Taylor declares. “I’m always looking for new combinations.”
Methodical Coffee + Landmark Flagship, 207 Wade Hampton Blvd, Greenville; methodicalcoffee.com