Friday, July 18, 2014

Coffee and Much More!

Some time ago, we came across a coffee shop on a side street near downtown Maryville Tennessee.  We thought that the coffee was very good, the place was cute and quirky…and we vowed to return again when we were back in town and when the time for coffee and a snack fit in just right.

So…back in June, we were in Maryville, we’d had a late breakfast, no lunch and it was early afternoon…the perfect time for coffee and a snack!

This is the Vienna Coffee House in Maryville Tennessee.  It’s located on a side street between downtown Maryville and Maryville College.

John Clark is the owner and ‘roastmaster’ of the Vienna Coffee Company.  The Coffee House is a tasty ‘side business’ for the Vienna Coffee Company.  The company’s primary business is coffee roasting.  Vienna roasts tons of coffee each month for area coffee shops, restaurants, hotels and grocery stores.  Customers include the Aubrey’s restaurant chain, over 20 Kroger stores, Sullivan’s Restaurant, Foothills Milling Company, Barley’s, Horn of Plenty Marketplace, Amburn’s Produce, and in Townsend, the Village Market IGA and Firefly Cafe.

Vienna Coffee Company’s facility is quite large… There is even this patio for patrons on the lower level.  The new Coffee House is on the main level of this 3-story building where there is plenty of space for individuals and groups to enjoy a full array of coffee-based drinks, teas, pastries, quiches and other treats.

That patio sits down in this little valley overlooking this creek in Maryville.  As you might be able to tell by the swollen creek and the muddy water, we visited the Vienna Coffee House on a rainy day.

In addition to coffee, sandwiches and snacks, the Vienna Coffee House is a live music venue and it has free Wi-Fi.  There is seating for 100 on the main level as well as a 500-square-foot conference room for small groups.

John Clark, whose parents operated a Photography Studio, didn’t plan on being a roastmaster.  The Maryville native, whose grandmother, Emma Clark, was the big sister of D.W. Proffitt, founder of Proffitt’s Department Store, graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in chemical engineering and did hazardous waste management for chemical companies.

One job took him to San Francisco before the specialty coffee craze that started in Berkeley had expanded beyond California.  He grew to love dark-roasted high quality coffee back in the 80s before Starbucks was invented…

The new Vienna Coffee House location also has a full-service drive-thru window.  Most importantly, the roastery and Coffee House are now consolidated into one 18,000 sq. foot building! 

Previously, this 11-year old locally owned company had been operating from two locations in town…one for the roastery and another for the Coffee House.
When his job brought him back to Maryville, he admits that he’d turned into a ‘coffee snob’.  He just couldn’t drink what was available in the grocery stores and there wasn’t a Starbucks in town.  Using his California connections, he bought specialty beans that he roasted in a popcorn popper on the stove top in his kitchen. But he wanted more.  He found a used Ambex coffee roaster on eBay in Canada.  The owner thought the roaster didn’t work but Clark bought it, pulled it apart and fixed it.  He had a $10,000 coffee roaster for $1,700!

Although the Vienna Coffee House is truly ‘coffee centric’, they do offer a limited sandwich and soup menu at lunch.  If you check their website, you won’t find a menu for food, pastries, etc.  They are just accompaniments to the coffee!

Upon checking the Vienna Coffee Company's website, I learned that their coffee beans come from many different parts of the world.  This included places like Bali, Papua New Guinea, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Peru, Colombia, Costa Rica, Kenya and Tanzania.

Let’s see… Will it be sandwiches and/or soup or something sweet and relatively unhealthy?!  Not a bad selection, that’s for sure.  It wasn’t a tough decision for us…so much for a healthy light lunch!

How about a nice piece of blueberry crumb cake!

 Or, if you’d prefer, there was this decadent chocolate and sugar laden dessert bar!

FYI… The Vienna Coffee House offers one other service or experience for its patrons…”Coffee Cupping”!  What is a coffee cupping?  It’s like a wine tasting for coffee.  You smell, swish and slurp different coffees one at a time.  It involves the art of aroma perception in coffee. You learn about the intricate details and differences of coffee flavors.  The Coffee House hosts free cuppings on Thursdays for coffee lovers.

Laurie loves her latte…but I always stick to a nice non-photogenic cup of fresh black coffee.

To finish John Clark’s story… He had his roaster and he was roasting in his garage, but he was making too much coffee for just himself and he started giving it away.  That was like giving money away, so he started selling his coffee “just to support my hobby.”  Then came a moment of decision…The chemical company he worked for wanted Clark to transfer to Philadelphia.  He decided to stick with coffee and stay in East Tennessee!  Clark picked up his last corporate paycheck July 31, 2002.  On his way home from work that day, he made three sales calls.  One of them to Aubrey’s Restaurants, and the rest is history.”

The Vienna Coffee House and Roastery is located at 212 College Street in Maryville, Tennessee.  The Coffee House is open 7 days a week.  Phone: 865-681-0517.  The Coffee House website is located The Vienna Coffee Company’s website and on-line store can be found at

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a cup of coffee and a sweet treat!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. I would become a coffee snob if I lived near this coffee house. It seems very sophisticated for Maryville. I predict you will visit often because the coffee business has really grown. Our Ingles just opened a Starbucks in the store and the line outside for opening day was long/ It's been a big success ever since. In fact opening day broke a record.

  2. Hmmm I'm not sure if my previous comment went through or not, my computer has been glitchy this morning. Anyway, Dave this cafe looks like a cute little spot. My mom is the same way when it comes to her coffee, she prefers it black. Just as long as its fresh and strong. I on the other hand like the fancy drinks - whipped cream and foam :)

    The sugar bars and cake look delicious...I can tell just by looking at them how moist they must be. If I lived closer, I'd be there all the time.

    ...Thank you for stopping by and commenting. The new website has turned into quite the project. I'm still figuring out how to redirect the old links to the new site. Hopefully things will get settled soon and I can focus on visiting more often :)

    Give my very best to Laurie. It was lovely catching up~


  3. Sounds like a nice place to get a cup of coffee and a snack. I like the regular coffee too. The cakes look good. Blessings, Catherine

  4. Add this place to the list of "things to do" for my next visit :-) We'll have to buy some of their coffee and brew it at the house! Hope to see you in September...