For every small town, there’s the local gathering place. For some towns, this may be a favorite diner or pub, but in Clemson, South Carolina, it’s All In Coffee Shop. All In opened in April 2012, and as a high school junior I fell in love with the place and have been going ever since. So many things set All In apart as a coffee shop that it’s hard to know what to describe first: the house-made pastries? The outstanding coffee? The homelike atmosphere? All these things are what make All In a local favorite, but to understand what makes All In work, you’ve got to know the beautiful vision behind it.
Vernon Bacher, along with his wife Maria, started All In with the desire to serve the community, first and foremost. Vernon is a residential contractor by trade, though he and his family have traveled around the world doing missions work for years. After a while, though, Vernon began to feel a frustrating conflict between his desire to minister and the language barrier he often encountered during mission trips. Around this time, he began to realize that his long-time hometown, Clemson, supported a large international population, all of whom spoke English. This was the spark that got All In started; the Bachers began to feel the need to create a warm, inviting gathering place where both locals and homesick internationals could gather, connect, and enjoy each other.
When I asked Vernon what he believes sets All In apart, he just smiled and pointed to the ceiling, which is beautifully covered in a stunning mural that includes landmarks from all over the world. As you explore All In, you’ll notice other little nods to international culture, such as international bills tucked under glass tables and a massive map on the wall with hundreds of pins stuck into it where international students have marked home.
“We’re here to represent something bigger than we are. We want to be a light here in Clemson–that’s been my prayer. We want to run a business, but more importantly, we want to provide a sense of belonging.” -Vernon Bacher
The atmosphere at All In feels more like a home than a cramped coffee shop, and the food and drinks are spectacular. Vernon believes strongly in the difference that fresh coffee beans make, remarking that ground coffee begins to taste stale after just seven days. Because of that, All In only ever uses the freshest coffee in their drinks, and the difference is noticeable. And not only are their drinks delectable, but they’re also beautiful.
All In is as much an outstanding bakery as it is a coffee shop. All of the pastries and desserts at All In are made on-site, usually by Maria Bacher, the genius behind All In’s incredible baked goods. From dessert bars to cheesecakes, fresh scones and muffins, layer cakes and cookies, All In provides copious options for the sweet tooth. Having spent years sampling All In’s sweets, I can testify: all of their desserts are out of this world delicious, though Vernon says that the cinnamon rolls are a constant favorite.
If you’re in the Clemson area, you’ve got to stop by All In coffee shop. Try one of their signature drinks, like the White Tiger (white chocolate and chai), or stop by on a Tuesday afternoon for Bubble Tea Tuesday. While you’re at it, order one of Maria’s mouth-watering sweets and find a cozy armchair by the fire to read a book or catch up with a friend. While you’re there, I guarantee you’ll notice something besides the outstanding food and coffee–you’ll discover a place where people from all over the world can gather and find a sense of home.
Go Find ‘Em!
106 Earle Street
Clemson, SC 29631