Coffee shop coming to Cayce hopes to be community ‘third space’ between work and home

Courtesy Piecewise Coffee Co.

Cayce’s old downtown used to be where locals would go to city hall, the movies, to shop and hang out. Stanton and Lindsey Scoma hope opening a coffee shop in the historic heart of the city will make it a gathering place once again.

“We just want it to be a place when you go to the riverwalk, you stop in and get a cup of coffee and we’re part of your day,” Scoma said of his shop, Piecewise Coffee Co.

Scoma is a chemical and nuclear engineer who worked for SCE&G at the failed VC Summer nuclear plant before deciding to take on something “less boring,” and more community-focused. He also heard Cayce Mayor Elise Partin’s vision for the city included a coffee shop, and it was like all the signs pointed toward Piecewise.

“Sometimes it just feels right,” he said.

Piecewise, the name of the shop, comes from a type of mathematical function that joins different equations that behave in different ways. It is the meeting point of unique parts, just like a city, Scoma said.

“We see the community being that way,” he said. “There’s no way to define what a community is.”

At the coffee shop, Scoma imagines commuters popping in for a drink in the morning, students being able to hide out and “crank out that midterm paper,” elderly residents sitting and reading the newspaper — everyone having a place and feeling welcome.

Partin said Piecewise, along with recent addition Steel Hands brewery, Henry’s restaurant and a soon-to-come art gallery, will bring energy back into the State Street area, which also happens to be near a trailhead for the Cayce riverwalk, linking everything together.

“We want people to know really all the depth and richness” of the area, Partin said.

The small coffee shop on State Street will reflect the likes of Indah Coffee or Drip in Columbia, Scoma said. The drinks menu will feature a basic stable of coffee shop offerings to start, made with “super local” ingredients, plus a selection of kombucha. A food menu is in the works.

Unlike typical smaller coffee shops, Piecewise Coffee has its own app for iPhone (an Android app is in the works). Customers can make mobile orders and schedule pickups from their cellphones.

Eventually, Scoma said he wants to host community talks, pave the shop’s back patio and rent out the space as a venue for private events.

The coffee shop is expected to open toward the middle of May. It is located at 2001 State St.

Piecewise Coffee Co. will be at the third annual Soiree on State, on April 27.

Isabella Cueto is a bilingual multimedia journalist covering Lexington County, one of the fastest-growing areas of South Carolina. She previously worked as a reporter for the Medill Justice Project and WLRN, South Florida’s NPR station. She is a graduate of the University of Miami, where she studied journalism and theatre arts.