For Roasters & Retailers

Drift Coffee & Kitchen brings food and drinks to Autumn Hall

If Drift Coffee &Kitchen feels different than other local coffee shops, that is because it is not inspired by the American coffee shop.

Brothers Michael and Ben Powell of Ocean Isle Beach started Drift Coffee &Kitchen there two years ago. Since then, the brand has continued to grow, but when a spot at Autumn Hall off Eastwood Road became available, they decided to open up a second place and expand their food menu.

The downside to a beach coffee shop is the seasonality and Michael said they were looking to curate a different coffee shop experience that focuses more on relationship to customers. The brothers will now split their time between the two shops.

The coffee shop is Australian-inspired with its minimalist decor, food and coffee menu.

“Our mission is that we want to give people something positive during their day — coffee is such a daily, ritualized thing that we hope people can pause and really enjoy it,” Michael said.

The brothers, as well as head chef Mikey Weisman, have spent time surfing in Australia and they were able to have a taste of a different coffee shop experience there, he said.

Australian shops consist of fewer laptops and cell phone conversations and more people taking time out of their workday to converse. There is also a higher emphasis on the food. Drift Coffee has breakfast and lunch items including granola and yogurt, acai bowls, Great Harvest Bread toasts topped with avocado or scrambled eggs, and salads.

“We really wanted to blend the concept of food and coffee and not have food be an afterthought,” he said.

The coffee selection is minimalistic as well, with an emphasis on better coffee rather than more. There is only one size and for those dining in, coffee comes in glass mugs and ice coffee is served in jars.

The menu includes espresso, Americanos, cappuccinos, lattes, mochas and drip coffees. There is also a magic coffee with a double shot of espresso and steamed milk. Baristas here are all trained to do latte art, where they pour steamed milk into drinks to make hearts or other shapes.

Drift also offers unique teas and holistic drinks with tumeric and other spices.

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Reporter Ashley Morris can be reached at 910-343-2096 or


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