Mike Acosta '13 Opens New Cozy Hartford Coffee Shop


Located just a mile outside of Trinity’s gates at 387 Capitol Avenue is co-owner and Trinity alum Michael Acosta’s cozy new coffee shop, Story and Soil. Alongside co-owners Michael and Sarah McCoy, the shop opened on July 27 of this year, but the history of Story and Soil goes back much further.
Acosta came to Hartford from the Bronx to begin his undergraduate education at Trinity in 2009. Graduating in 2013 with a double major in Philosophy and Neuroscience, Acosta’s path to coffee certainly does not seem like an obvious one. However, after living on Trinity’s campus for six years, Acosta reflects on working at the Underground, running it in his post-graduate years, serving as an alumni treasurer for Cleo, and the general exibility of Trinity that helped and encourage him to explore his different interests– even coffee. Acosta refers to this exibility as the “deep dives” that Trinity allowed him to make in subjects like food and coffee, which he was inexplicably drawn towards.
After graduating, Acosta along with two others, began N2, a “pop-up nitro brew and espresso bar,” located at the West End Farmer’s Market in Hartford. N2 was operating out of its mobile coffee cart when Acosta met Sarah and Michael McCoy. The McCoy’s came to Hart- ford just two years ago after Michael McCoy visited for an event and, “saw the potential of community and specifically of Frog Hollow.” After meeting Acosta in October of 2016, they settled on the idea of opening a coffee shop. Their work, culminating in late July of this year, began.
Although the area of the space is currently rather snug, Story and Soil is looking to do big things in Hartford. Michael McCoy talks about their role in the specialty coffee industry, and how what Story and Soil offers is “something much different and deliberate” from anything a big coffee chain can offer. The co-owners are confident in their shop and the role it is beginning to play in the community, citing the care and speci city they are putting into everything from specially selected roasters to, “the intangibles like the atmosphere,” that they have cultivated.
Acosta believes that “coffee is a force for good,” and that Story and Soil is becoming a, “meeting place for great things happening in Hartford.” For everybody from Trinity, to students at Hartford’s surrounding universities, to customers from Hartford, Acosta and the McCoy’s note that the, “hospitality, atmosphere, and quality of their products,” truly enables their customers to, “leave here better than when they came in.”
As for the long- term vision for Story and Soil, its owners hope that Trinity students will continue, “breaking the bubble,” by engaging in their shop and in Hartford. They look forward to expanding to serve a larger portion of the community and continuing to do what they love, “connecting with people and serv- ing coffee.”

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