Our Story


Let me introduce myself - Hello, my name is Malachi - I am 19 - very foolish - and probably crazy too. I am writing you now because I want you to understand why I decided to skip college and instead pursue the second quickest way to go broke - starting a coffee shop.

My story begins in November of 2016.

The job I had only held for 3 months was taking a toll on my spirit. The atmosphere was overflowing with negativity and hypocrisy. I quickly recognized a critical issue in society: people are drifting apart! I believe there is no greater purpose than enjoying life with the people around you. If we are not striving to connect with others, we will miss our purpose for living.


There are 3 kinds of relationships:

Work relationships - ones that serve a purpose and get a job done. - the physical connection

Surface relationships - ones that are generally non-essential and in passing. - the mental connection

Authentic relationships - ones that are selfless, meaningful, and deep. - the spiritual connection

We must connect on all levels!


 (deeper than coffee)


In the first months of my venture I struggled - what will make TAPROOT unique? How will my heart for community be manifest? I am on a journey to that end - gradually uncovering the answer and sharing my findings. I long for a culture shift. I hope to see people care more about each other and less about staying busy.

This all starts with building an oasis in Hickory, NC - a place where people can pursue authenticity for themselves. 


(coffee is the context)


Coffee is the means I chose to improve the world by. Why coffee? First and foremost: I am passionate about it - without passion life is dull. Secondly: tradition.  Looking back over the last 10 centuries, coffee has been a cherished ritual in many cultures - the ultimate form of hospitality and love.

Coffee is much more than a vehicle for TAPROOT. Coffee is the context and foundation for starting an honest conversation.  


(people are the purpose)


Is there a deeper reason for life than learning to love people? It doesn't sound difficult; in fact love is quite simple! Love is the OUTWARD manifestation of a selfless spiritual connection. When your behavior is solely designed to benefit others, you are loving them. Solely means without any other motivation.

TAPROOT explores the limits of these statements. Can a business be solely designed to benefit other people? And if not, can It be a tool used for that purpose? 


(living to learn)


Opps.. I skipped a month.

I do my best to learn something new everyday. Like everything in life, learning is an art.  Think like a student.  I can't learn anything when I know everything; so use the phrase "I don't know" often.  There are obvious areas of growth for each of us, but try looking somewhere new.  Can I look for subtle opportunities to become better in everyday interactions?  If I can become more observant of people can it improve new aspects of my behavior? 


(cultivating conversation)


One thing I have noticed after 6 months in my own shop: the people that are pushed past "good, how are you" COME BACK. People belong when they are engaged in a conversation. If I'm honest, I sometimes hide behind the bar and a smile. I'm not always thrilled to trigger a conversation. This is a big weaknesss for me because I DO want everyone to belong. I push myself everyday to break through the surface with people.

Without people, TAPROOT would have no purpose. Without conversation TAPROOT would be just coffee.