Anna’s Adventures: My new study spot

As a college student, the two things I need daily are coffee and a good place to study. I found an almost perfect place in downtown Florence: The Clay Pot Coffee Shop.

Yes, FMU got a Starbucks, and it is wonderful. However, it gets a little crowded and closes at 2 p.m. every day. The other Starbucks coffee shops in Florence are usually very crowded and have a lot going on. So, as I was looking for another place to get my caffeine fix, some friends directed me to The Clay Pot.

The atmosphere of the coffee shop is much more laid back than Starbucks. None of the tables match. They seem to all have been picked up at yard sales or consignment shops, which sounds like it would look tacky, but instead it makes the coffee shop feel homey. There is a variety in the seating. Tables can fit just one person or several. The walls in the main room are covered in local art, which adds to the character of the coffee shop. The drinks are served in Mason jars and hand-crafted mugs, hence the name of the coffee shop.

Altogether, the impression the Clay Pot gave me was relaxing and laid back, making it an ideal candidate as a study place.

Wi-Fi is an added bonus to the value of the coffee shop to a college student.

The service at the Clay Pot was nothing short of amazing. The lady who took my order was very nice, but not in a forced way. She answered any questions I had regarding the menu. By her attitude, she seemed to enjoy her job and that made the overall customer experience more pleasant. After taking my order at the counter, she delivered it to the table. She made sure that there was nothing else that anyone needed and even exchanged one of my friend’s orders three times without one complaint. She also promoted the art exhibit featured in the back room and future events that were happening at the coffee shop.

As far as the menu and pricing, it is all very similar to Starbucks. They serve a variety of coffeebased drinks as well as teas and smoothies. I personally recommend the strawberry smoothie. The Clay Pot also offers sweet snacks such as brownies and cheesecake. They have breakfast and lunch menus available. Items offered on these menus include grilled cheese, meatloaf, seafood casseroles and Wild Alaskan Salmon burgers.

Another appeal to the Clay Pot is that their drinks and food are both made with local and organic products. The Clay Pot uses coffee beans that are locally roasted and real fruit in their smoothies. Their food products are also a healthier lunch option as they are made with organic ingredients.

The Clay Pot is not just a coffee shop. The back room and the main room where coffee is served is used to exhibit art created locally and that is available for purchase. Customers can enjoy a cup of coffee and take in some unique art all in one building. The Clay Pot also hosts a knitting class that is open to the public. As its name suggests, the shop also is used as a sculpting studio.

The only downfall to this coffee shop is their inconvenient hours. The Clay Pot is open Wednesday through Saturday. Their hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Saturday and 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Friday. They do open up for special occasions such as Valentine’s Day.

The Clay Pot is definitely not your typical coffee shop, but its uniqueness, great service, amazing drink and food options as well as Wi-Fi make it my new go-to study place.

You can like The Clay Pot Coffee Shop on Facebook to receive updates on their hours, speciality menus and exact prices.