Humble Cup to add Fort Mill Café on Tom Hall Street

Hempel Cup Coffee Co.

Decades ago, the building was one of the few places in Fort Mill where locals could go out for dinner. Now it would be a place where Fort Mill could gather for a cup of coffee.

The Humble Cup Coffee Co. has signed on. Lease at 414 Tom Hall St.

It is the site of the former Ocean Palace that for many years served hibachi and buffet meals, but has been vacant for some time. The Humble Cup should open there by the end of fall or the beginning of winter, open in time for the holiday season.

Nick Conforte, who with wife Ashley started the Humble Cup in 2019 said: “This new location was the perfect location for us. We’ve been going around the building every week for the past three years and we’ve known it has potential. Then the ‘For Rent’ sign popped up. And two years later, we signed the lease.”

The Humble Cup began when the couple started roasting coffee in the garage as a hobby, before the COVID-19 pandemic. The hobby grew into a small folding table at the town’s farmers market, then a small mobile coffee cart. It has grown into an entire mobile coffee shop operating from a converted horse trailer.

“Our new space will provide a community café built by the community and the community,” said Nick Conforte. “Our brand grew three years ago at a local farmers market and with the help and support of the community, we have now had this opportunity to open a store.”

The new store will offer familiar items to customers who have met the Humble Cup at the farmers market.

“Everything from freshly roasted coffee, latte, cold brew, chia tea, and seasonal brews,” said Conforte. “We will now be adding to our list of kombuchas as well as local pastries, which is highly to be expected as we do not currently sell pastries.”

Internal community events will be planned.

In 2020, Humble Cup began donating one dollar from every coffee bag sold to local charities. The company wants to participate in local fundraising opportunities. Fort Mill is where the company started and grew, and the community that still feels right at home.

“What made us want to put our roots in Fort Mill was the people,” Conforte said. “Being a part of the farmers market for the past three years, we have met so many wonderful people. It has been very interesting to watch so many other small businesses growing as well.”

While Ocean Palace is a memory of longtime Fort Mill residents in tune with less people time and fewer food options, growth has come on both fronts.

Fort Mill annually ranks among the fastest growing in South Carolina and in the region. Now, in the nearby downtown area, there are six dining spots on Main Street and nearly as many on Claiborne, Springs or Tom Hall streets. Just across the street from the new Humble Cup site is a Steele Street station with a brewery, pizzeria, and plans for another new restaurant.

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John Marks graduated from Furman University in 2004 and joined the Herald in 2005. It covers community growth, municipalities, transportation and education mainly in York County and Lancaster County. The Fort Mill native has received dozens of South Carolina Press Association awards and several McClatchy President Awards for news coverage at Fort Mill and Lake Wylie.
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