NETTLETON – What, for years, was a Pure Oil Station that helped people fuel up their cars, trucks, four-wheelers and boats is now a coffee shop helping people to fuel up for their days. Pure Brew Station has been a business years in the making for Zach and Jessica Cresap, and the location is helping preserve some of Nettleton’s past.
“We want to be a part of watching this town come back to life. There’s so much old history here, which is the thing that sold us on this building,” Jessica said. “It’s nice to have a business in a community that looks after each other.
“We love coffee and we love to hit up the independent coffee shops. We talked about it here and there but just wrote it off. This place kind of fell into us. We started talking to Brandon Presley about it, and he said, ‘I have the perfect building for you.’”
Zach said the building was vacant for five or six years before the purchase, and Presley connected them with its former owner. Pure Brew is on a piece of prime real estate at the intersection of Highway 6 and Union Avenue, making it easy for locals and commuters to find.
A social destination
The Cresaps celebrated Pure Brew’s one-year anniversary last week. In the past year, the two have learned there’s a need for a coffee shop in Nettleton.
“Coffee shops are the number one needed business in a small town in America,” Zach said.
With the assortment of drinks and treats comes a sense of company and friendship.
“We want you to come in and experience friendship when you get your drinks,” Jessica said. “We have our regulars who like to sit in here and chat and fill us in on the latest gossip and news.”
While the NBC sitcom, “Friends,” helped spark a draw to coffee shops in the 1990s through Central Perk, Jessica thinks back to another NBC Thursday night sitcom as being relatable.
“One of my favorite shows to watch is ‘Cheers,’ and we do not sell alcohol. However, I love that atmosphere where people come in after work and hang out. That’s exactly what we wanted. We have customers who come up and we’re already working on the drink before they come in,” she said, adding one of Pure Brew’s regulars reminds her of Cliff Clavin from the show. “One day I had it on, and Cliff was on one of his kicks, and I said he reminded me so much of him. I actually call him Cliff.”
Thanks in part to its WiFi, Pure Brew has become a destination for college students since the pandemic prompted a shift to more virtual learning. Additionally, there are groups of people that meet regularly there.
Before the pandemic hit, there was live acoustic music – Jim Milucky – on Friday and Saturday nights, and he will soon start performing again on the weekends.
“Once a month on Friday, Saturday, we’ll open back up til 10 o’clock,” Jessica said. “We’ve got games. The little kids love to come and while they’re waiting on mama or daddy to order their smoothies, they can play games.”
After purchasing it, the Cresaps started over from scratch in renovating the inside of the building, doing most of the work themselves to achieve an eclectic atmosphere.
“We like a more vintage look to things. We always hit up antique places. We wanted to go with more of a laid back vibe, like a retro junk feel,” she said.
Brewing up success
Even though the Cresaps have been longtime coffee lovers, the past several months have molded them into coffee connoisseurs.
“We didn’t know anything other than we liked to drink it. We actually had a professional barista to come down and train us on the different drinks and the way to make different drinks. We got to tour where the beans are roasted in Oxford,” Jessica said.
Pure Brew’s beans are brewed locally by High Point Coffee in Oxford, and they originate from places across the world.
“In the process about learning about coffee and learning about the different ways of roasting it and the different strengths of coffee, we did a lot of taste testing,” she said, adding they’ve learned there’s so much more to coffee than just the at-home drip brands. “The coffee bean we will offer was handcrafted for us. It will be a Pure Brew blend.”
In addition to hot coffee, Pure Brew offers sweets, sausage balls, iced coffee, lemonades, energy drinks and children’s drinks.
“We get a lot of people who come in here and tell us that our drinks are better than Starbucks,” Jessica said.
Pure Brew offers at least three seasonal drinks, which are available all year long. Most recently, the Valentine’s Day-themed flavor – the sweetheart – blended strawberry and chocolate flavors.
“It’s a way for you to get your caffeine with chocolate-covered strawberries,” Jessica said.