By Dave Ficere

People find inspiration in different places. Some attend a church or synagogue service, others are moved by majestic mountains or the roar of the surf and the smell of ocean air. For some, inspiration comes from a painting, a piece of music or an uplifting poem. But a growing number of people in north Phoenix are finding inspiration at a different location: Elevate Coffee Company.

The brain child of a group of businessmen in 2009, Elevate was born in the summer of 2010 as a place “different than the competition, a place to hang out and be inspired,” according to General Manager Troy Hailpern. And, hence the name, Elevate, which Webster’s Dictionary defines as to raise to lift (something) up to a higher position. To raise to a more important or impressive level.

We spent some time on the name, and it really conjures inspiring others,” Hailpern says. “It’s about creating a good feeling for our customers and staff.” The name also has a spiritual aspect to it as well, and Hailpern admits they are a “faith-based” coffee shop and that first time visitors eventually pick up on that.

The founders wanted something with a different concept, and a place that encourages people to hang-out. Located next to the Harkins Theatre at the Shops at Norterra, Elevate was designed with multiple electrical outlets and a community table that encourages people to plug in, hang out and socialize. “We are a destination coffee shop,” Hailpern says, “so our ‘rush hour’ begins a little later in the morning than the competition.”

Hailpern – who spent 11 years at rival Starbucks and got his training there – says Elevate’s drinks are a little different with beans that are fresher than the competition, which produces a smoother beverage. During their busy times, you’ll find Hailpern working as everything from barista to cashier and anything else that is needed. “We want to present ourselves well, and customer service is very important to us,” he says. Hailpern even monitors review sites such as Yelp and has been known to personally reply to comments left by dissatisfied customers.

The 3,400 square feet coffee shop – huge by comparison with the competition – also boosts another unique attribute: A meeting room. Elevate’s Norterra Room has hosted everything from baby showers to business meetings, church group and social organization meetings and more. Hailpern says for businesses it’s a much more relaxing atmosphere than a typical conference room environment.

Another Elevate difference is live entertainment every Friday and Saturday night, featuring jazz bands, solo artists, rock bands and everything in between, including comedians. Hailpern says all entertainment is “family friendly” and safe for children.

Giving back to the community and a world in need is also important, and Elevate designates ten cents of specific drinks to provide clean water for kids in Africa through the non-profit organization Hope For Kids International. Hailpern says because of Elevate customers, they’ve been able to help Hope For Kids dig three water wells and are a looking to fund a fourth in the near future.

And what does the future hold for Elevate Coffee? Hailpern says a second location is “in our two-year plan,” but they’re moving ahead cautiously to avoid the danger many businesses make of expanding too fast.

Elevate Coffee is located in the Shops at Norterra, 2530 W. Happy Valley Rd. Suite 1273, just west of I-17. You’ll find them next to the Harkins Theatre at the northern end of the shopping center. To find out more about Elevate, visit their website at, check out their Facebook page or call them at (602) 341-5480.