Wired Magazine had an article last year about how a company out of Seattle built a hugely popular software application entirely at a coffee shop. The software developers worked for seven months out of Zoka coffee shop.

It is interesting from the perspective of the coffee shop owners. It’s gained them a little bit of publicity and of course the software developers bought coffee.

Here are some quotes from the article. If you’re curious, the software they made is called Delicious Monster (for the Mac) and it helps people organize books, DVDs, games, and other things.

“It’s cheap rent and a fun environment,” said Matas. “We go down there every day with our laptops and work. It’s an incredible place. They have two or three of the top baristas in the country (the awards are on the wall). We pay our rent by buying coffee…. They love us. We’re some of their best customers.”

As well as creamy lattes, the coffee shop offers wireless internet access and big, bench-like tables that several people can gather around. Often, Delicious Monster’s entire seven-person staff will work there.

“When we started, there was just two of us working in an office we set up in Wil’s house,” Matas said. “It lasted a week. When there’s just two of you, you can’t stay in one room all day.”

The coffee house is full of students and several other programmers, most of whom are contractors. Its collegiate atmosphere provides inspiration, not distraction. “It’s like a big library,” Matas said. “We don’t people-watch. We work. We work eight hours a day.”

“Zoka is pretty much their office,” said Reid Hickman, a Zoka barista. “It’s a pretty good deal. They hang out here all day and they often get lunch and dinner here. They take good care of us.”

Matas and Shipley launched the company last year. Living on savings and fueled by coffee, they banged out the software in seven months.

Arizona Coffee

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  1. Zoka is an awesome coffee roasting company! They have the amazing 2005 US Barista Champion Phuong Tran pulling shots behind the bar, the inspiring Trish Skeie as Director of Coffee, “super barista” Jennifer Prince and the list goes on. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Zoka owner Jeff Babcock and talking coffee with him was a great experience! A true treasure in the world of specialty coffee.

  2. Oh wow, that’s really cool! You’ve really been around!