Grab a Coffee with Pour Coffeehouse Las Vegas
Independent coffeehouses have a small but strong footprint in Las Vegas. Pour Coffeehouse opened in October 2015 and is the newest shop making its mark in the Valley. Owner Deborah Armstrong carefully curates her menu with locally sourced products from roasted coffee beans to pastries and provides a bright sunny space for guests to relax in. With the support of the Henderson Chamber of Commerce, Pour Coffeehouse recently celebrated its opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony and while not yet a year old, Pour was picked up by Thrillist as one of the top coffeeshops in Las Vegas. It’s not just the great view of Sunset Park and friendly team that makes Pour so appealing. Pour brings an entrepreneurial community together and hosts events like the Black Business Mixer, Kids Reading Corner, and tea tasting, an event that’s become so popular, they’re booked up to two months in advance.
Meet Deborah Armstrong
Born in Barbados, Armstrong moved to Boston at the age of 10. After living in different cities including Los Angeles and Denver, she settled down in Las Vegas with her long-time partner to be close to family. Deborah Armstrong is the only Black woman who is the business owner of a coffeeshop in the Las Vegas Valley.
Q: What motivated you to open a coffee shop?
A: After a long corporate career year in the computer industry I wanted to be a name instead of a number. I wanted a career shift, to create a space where people know people, people greet people… a place where you can inspire, you can learn, and you can meet interesting people.
To bridge the gap from tech to coffee Armstrong invested time exploring the coffeehouse industry in Las Vegas, San Francisco and Portland. Armstrong visited numerous local spots in San Francisco and spent time in Portland researching beans, how they’re sourced, studied flavors and dedicated time to many tastings. Taking her findings and her style preferences from interior design to flavors, Pour Coffeehouse was born.
Q: Tech to coffee shop is a big change, what were your biggest challenges?
A: As a new business owner, growing your customer base… and becoming part of someone’s routine. It’s important to market effectively to get people through the door.
It’s way more difficult than I thought it was going to be to make the numbers I thought I was going to make, and I’m dealing with the impact of the road construction on South Eastern nine months later. You’re forced to adjust, you still have the same bills and can’t get discouraged. The construction affected businesses that have been established for a long time. I saw two places go out of business, one reduced hours significantly and closed on the weekends. Nothing is done by the city to compensate small business owners.
Also, reminding yourself you’re not part of the trend bandwagon. Guests want quality, and they still want those staples, like some of our guest favorites Mocha Latte, Vanilla Latte, Caramel Latte – we don’t just do the new fad because everyone else is doing it.
The newest trend is Nitro Coffee. Nitro Coffee is Cold Brew on tap, [coffee is] coming through a beer tap with a head on it. Gas creates the foam and more volume, like you’re drinking a Guinness. There is no alcohol in it.
People like diversity, but they also like routine. They know if they like a particular order that is what they’re going to get with us.
Q: You’re into DIY, how did you apply this to your coffee shop?
A: The interior is strictly my design, I knew what I wanted, and I like minimalist. [I decided] not to be persuaded to do something different because somebody else said to.
Q: What’s the best experience since becoming part of the local coffee community?
A: Having people appreciate the skill it takes to produce a good product. We’ve been seeing that reaction from customers.
Q: What would you like to see in the local coffee community?
A: Unless you go into a shop to introduce yourself, there isn’t a regular business meetup for coffee shop owners, not yet. As the community grows more of that might happen. That happens in Portland. Here, we’re not quite there yet.
Q: What are the most popular events at Pour?
A: Tea cupping has become a really popular event. It’s a tea tasting on the first Friday of the month. We sample 3-5 different teas and do a combination of hot and cold. This event is booked up two months in advance. Spaces are limited so there can be a more intimate discussion about the teas that guests are sampling.
We also have the Black Business mixer every other Tuesday, supporting businesses that are black owned. Entrepreneurs come in, represent and talk about their business and what they do. It’s an opportunity to grow that network and have people of all backgrounds become aware that these businesses are in town and meet the people who own these shops.
Pour also hosts a monthly Kids Corner Reading weekend, where funds earned during a reading session are matched and donated to the Las Vegas Rescue in the name of a featured young reader.
Q: What other communities are you part of now?
A: Business Women’s Connect, it’s a diverse group of entrepreneurs running all types of business. You can meet teachers, dancers, photographers, someone running a language school. Or you’ll meet the owner of a dog park, a restaurant, a craft shop, or a book store. It’s a great place to share ideas. We also participate in the Lambda LGBTQ monthly business luncheons.
Q: What’s the favorite sandwich / beverage at Pour Coffeehouse?
A: Sandwich: Breakfast Bombness.
We couldn’t agree more, we’ve had The Breakfast Bombness. With a perfectly toasted English muffin, the combination in this breakfast sandwich melts in your mouth with cream cheese, spinach, tomatoes, bacon, egg and avocado.
Beverage: Lattes with subtle flavors that don’t overwhelm the way a latte with a lot of syrup like a Starbuck’s might. You can taste the espresso, the creaminess of the milk and the texture, the flavors combined are subtle and unique.
Q: What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned about yourself since opening Pour?
A: The most interesting thing I’ve learned, even if I have a hard day or a day where you don’t see the foot traffic you’re looking for, you still look forward to the next day. There’s no give up.
People are inspired when they talk to me and find out I’m the only black female owning and running a coffee shop in Las Vegas. It’s hard and you accept the challenge. I keep my head down and move forward. I’m also inspired by my customers.
Q: Where did the name Pour Coffeehouse come from?
A: It’s a play on words. The more I learned about the coffee industry and about where and how the beans are sourced, the more I understood the reality of how much money this industry generates in the First World that doesn’t trickle down to the local farmers in the Third World. At Pour we’re committed to using coffee beans that are from sustainable sources and financially supportive of the micro farmers in their coffee regions.
Find Your Way to Pour
Pour Coffeehouse is located at 6811 S Eastern Road, Las Vegas. They’re open every day except Sundays. Come for the great menu options, to unplug or work and surf on WiFi. The hardest thing you’ll run into is deciding what to order. Then, vote for them on 35th Annual Best of Las Voting has officially started and closes Oct 12th.