Third Space Theory creates coffee and community in Waco

Bianca and Andreas Zaloumis (pictured) moved to Waco in December 2017 and decided to open up the Third Space Theory coffee cart with hopes of expanding the business in the future. Photo courtesy of Andreas Zaloumis

There’s a new coffee spot in town. Third Space Theory Coffee, also known as Thrst Coffee, is a recent startup business looking to positively impact the Waco community.

Thrst is owned by Andreas and Bianca Zaloumis, a married couple who moved to Waco in December 2017 and had always dreamed of starting a business together. They considered getting involved in the food and restaurant industries, but ultimately decided that a coffee-related startup was the way to go.

“We’ve always wanted to own our own business,” Bianca Zaloumis said. “That’s been one of our goals for years now, and something we’ve talked about since we met in high school. We both love coffee, and that was something we kept in the back of our minds. We liked the idea of creating a conversation and music-driven space.”

Andreas Zaloumis agreed, noting coffee is a simple idea that they can expand on in the future.

“We wanted to get involved in something that gave a cultural type of feel to bring people together,” Andreas Zaloumis said. “A coffee shop is where we landed. It made the most sense. We wanted to start somewhere small we feel confident in.”

Thrst Coffee is mobile, but currently located as a coffee cart within Cultivate 7Twelve, a local art gallery and gathering space on Austin Ave. The couple was approached by Cultivate co-founder Rebekah Hagman to be included within the space, which they saw as an interesting spot that could lead to their coffee initiating conversation and a sense of community among artists and Waco residents.

“Rebakah told us that she had been wanting a coffee concept for a while inside the space, and we realized that a cart could be a good idea. It’s simple scale and a great starting point,” Bianca Zaloumis said. “Cultivate 7twelve is tied into so many more avenues than people realize, and the spot has so much potential. There’s a world of opportunities within this space.”

Andreas Zaloumis appreciates how being located within Cultivate leads to conversation about art and the community over coffee, an aspect he sees as bringing liveliness and community to the spot.

“Coffee and art — what better place to have great conversation when you have different pieces you can look over and think about with others,” Andreas Zaloumis said. “Cultivate 7twelve highlights artists and progressiveness in Waco. Everything the spot does gives back to the community. They recently brought in a Banksy piece, which attracted a lot of attention. There’s a lot of traffic coming in and out of the space.”

Thrst Coffee specializes in pour over coffee, and also serves Italian sodas and specialty items on their menu.

“Everything we do is a pour-over, and we do some different region blends,” Andreas Zaloumis said. “Our most popular is Ethiopian, and we also have a house blend. Our provider is Chaney Brothers, a local roaster around 20 minutes outside Waco. For specialty items, we have the Shakerato, an iced coffee that it shaken up for a frothier top, and is served either regular or with pumpkin spice. We want good quality coffee without dressing it up too much.”

Bianca Zaloumis said they are also considering furthering a partnership with a local bakery and adding on additional drink items.

“We’d like to be able to have evening events in the future so we’re experimenting with ways to have non-coffee drinks as well,” Bianca Zaloumis said. “We also make our own whipped cream for the Italian cream sodas. We’re working with a local bakery called Sugar Home to slowly bring that on as business grows. Everything is made from scratch. There’s biscotti recipes, lemon pound cakes, and we’d love to introduce a chocolate Guinness cake they do. We’d definitely looking into adding food items.”

Andreas and Bianca Zaloumis said they appreciate Waco as a city that supports and encourages local businesses and believe Waco will continue to grow and expand as time goes on.

“You look at a city like Austin that is so progressive and entrepreneurial. It has its own personality,” Andreas Zaloumis said. “I see that in Waco as well. Within the last year of being here, I’ve witnessed crazy change and it’s exciting to be a part of that.”

“The community is so supportive of local business, which is cool to see,” Bianca Zaloumis said. “It was a huge motivator that the community was so responsive and welcoming.”

Moving forward, the couple hopes to continue promoting their business and creating partnerships with the ultimate goal of one day owning their own store front. They said that the best way to get in contact with or stay updated on Thrst Coffee is through their Instagram page @thrstcoffee.

“Long term, we’d love a store-front coffee shop by day, bar and music scene by night,” Bianca said. “We want to entertain people and make it our real Third Space.”

Andreas and Bianca Zaloumis advise Baylor students and Waco residents looking to start their own business to stay motivated and focused on the goal when tough times hit.

“The biggest thing is realizing that there will always be a blockade to overcome,” Andreas Zaloumis said. “Once you surpass it, you look back and are encouraged that you did that. Also make sure to keep a positive mindset. Once you see progress, hold on to it and keep going.”