Salvation Coffee Company is a freedom-loving, family-oriented business; a home for cold brews, casual conversation and good music.
Self-proclaimed ‘Star Wars nerd’ and veteran Jim Young opened the coffee shop on South Church Street in January. The décor reflects both of these passions – a large mural of Uncle Sam stares across the room at Storm Trooper figurines.
Now in its seventh week, “The Breakfast Club” classic “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” plays through the speakers. Jim admits he didn’t know how to run a coffee shop, but he knew what he liked about them.
“I wanted music,” Jim said. “We’re constantly checking to get a happy medium — is it too loud? Do we like what’s playing?”
The coffee is roasted in house, and the drinks are always changing. Behind the handcrafted bar, Alabama farm-grown artisan teas and coffees with French gluten-free syrup are carefully crafted for customers.
Salvation Coffee Company welcomes people of all passions with open arms but has a special place within its navy walls, dark wood furniture and salvaged art for servicemen and women.
“I am a disabled vet, and I wanted to pay it forward,” Jim said. “I feel like I owe these guys.”
Students are welcomed as well.
“We don’t want to exclude anyone — who they are, how they feel, who they voted for,” Jim said. “It’s none of my business. This is America. Everybody’s free to do what they want, and we want to keep it that way here.”
Jim's daughter and employee Savannah Young is just as likely to make a drink for a veteran and his service dog sitting at the barstool, a steady regular buzzing in and out to grab their morning mocha or a toddler in a stroller.
“Salty Dog – our take on a salted mocha – is the biggest seller,” Savannah said. “It has no salt in it, but the way that mocha melts with the espresso gives it a nice salty taste. It’s toffee nut, hazelnut, mocha and caramel. Hot or iced.”
A grand opening is expected at the end of the month, and Jim hopes to coordinate with Operation Enduring Warrior and REACH veteran’s program to make it a celebration of veteran service.
The Wi-Fi is free, and the shop will soon be accepting Phoenix Cash.
“Every day, we grow a little bit more,” Savannah said.
“We want to keep it real,” Jim said. “This is a safe place for everyone. I keep a tight operation.”