New SLO County drive-thru coffee shop serves up classic drinks — plus a secret recipe
Arroyo Grande coffee shop owner Jenna Riley loves a challenge.
“I try my best to provide a great organic product with the best ingredients I can find and tailored to each persons wants,” Riley said. “You want something low sugar? You want something low carb? You want me to surprise you? You don’t like coffee? Challenge me.”
Riley is the owner of Nova Coffee Co., 1156 E Grand Ave. in Arroyo Grande.
She said the business, which opened in June, essentially “fell into our lap.”
When the tenant next door to her husband’s insurance business moved out of the building, Riley and her husband, Tyler, saw an opportunity to go into business together.
The name Nova Coffee Co. was inspired by the couple’s kids: son Nolan and daughter Ava. “We combined the two names for Nova,” Jenna Riley explained.
Despite the high number of coffee shops on Grand Avenue — including Greenhouse Coffee Company, Banner Coffee Company, Tribe Coffeehouse, Dutch Bros Coffee and a Starbucks — Riley said Nova has gained a loyal following thanks to its menu and unique setup.
“The fun part about our space is that we are a drive-thru with a large back patio area, all enclosed so families can come and enjoy their coffee and let their kids (and) pets be safe,” Riley said. “While we don’t have indoor seating, we’re lucky enough to live on the Central Coast where our weather is typically great year round.”
Riley said she and her staff see their steady customers as friends and consider any criticism “a learning lesson.”
“We learn as we grow!” she said.
SLO County coffeehouse serves up classic drinks, burritos
Nova’s menu consists of a blend of made-to-order coffees, teas, pastries and burritos.
On top of classic espresso drinks, cold brew coffee, hot chocolate and tea, Nova also offers Here to Stay specialty beverages such as the Basic B, an iced almond milk latte with an added shot of espresso.
As the menu puts it, it’s “really what it says — pretty basic.”
The coffee shop also serves up less-than-basic specialty drinks such as the York, an espresso dark chocolate peppermint drink that tastes “like the real deal, a York peppermint patty,” Riley said, and Coffee Milk, which comes from Riley’s grandmother’s secret recipe.
Riley called Nova’s Coffee Milk “a huge hit and must try” for her customers.
In addition, Riley said, “We have great made-to-order breakfast burritos, bagels, fresh pastries from a local baker and Old West Cinnamon Rolls.”
Burritos come in bacon, sausage, chorizo and veggie varieties, and can be served as bowls.
Arroyo Grande coffee shop plans for events, more menu options
Riley said she and her staffers have “plans up our sleeves for more fun on our patio,” including more events and an extended food and drink menu.
“I’m very lucky to have a husband and business partner who reads, understands and prepares for our future very diligently,” Riley said. “If it wasn’t for him and of course our community, Nova wouldn’t be as special as it is already.
“I can’t wait to see what the next few years can bring for this space.”
Nova Coffee Co. is open Tuesday 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
For more information, call 805-270-4166 or visit novacoffeeag.com.