Many know BlackHorse Espresso & Bakery as the spot to grab a quick cup of coffee, a fancy latte, a yummy panini, or get some studying in. Many, however, probably do not know how this local chain began. BlackHorse Espresso & Bakery is a series of four small town coffee shops in San Luis Obispo. Since its establishment in 1995 as “Uptown Espresso,” BlackHorse is now renamed, under a new ownership, and has expanded from one to four locations throughout San Luis Obispo. According to AnnMarie Cornejo, writer for The Tribune, Randy Coates opened the first store, Uptown Espresso, on Higuera Street in 1995. Coates then introduced the name BlackHorse in 2007. The name is said to be in honor of the legend, O. L. Deloloy, a “poor, immigrant grandfather” who rode his black horse around Seattle stealing coffee beans from the docks and brewing them into coffee to give to his neighbors. In 2008, Randy Coates retired and sold BlackHorse to Tom Brown and Greg Hind, who in 2009 proceeded to open a second location in Broad Street Village (Cornejo, 2011). BlackHorse continued to grow in 2011 when they opened their Foothill location and again in 2013 the LOVR location opened.
BlackHorse is not just any espresso and bakery; it is a company that prides itself in a strong culture and vision for its aspirations. According to the company website, BlackHorse’s mission statement is to provide the best coffee and customer service by “equipping [their] baristas with top-of-the-line espresso machines,