Handcrafted Community at Foolish Things Coffee

By on April 1, 2015


“Mix a little foolishness with your serious plans. It is lovely to be foolish at the right moment.” — Horace


One sip of Foolish Things oak aged cold brew coffee tells everything about the craft of coffee– and much about the art of building community.


Yet this is only one handcrafted drink for which Foolish Things is known. Add to this distinctive drinks like Raspberry Vanilla Shrub, with its splash of housemade raspberry vanilla drinking vinegar and sparkling water, and a visit to this downtown coffee house is an oh-so-smart thing to do.



Owners Justin and Katie Carpenter are intent on the distinctive alchemy they want to achieve with Foolish Things Coffee House. “We want the conversation to be about crafting gourmet quality flavors grounded in outstanding hospitality.”


Mission accomplished.

They began three years ago when an opportunity for a coffee house in their downtown location arose. Then, a surprising combination of stylish mixology ingredients paired with unique, hand-poured coffee became a new expression of hospitality for Tulsa. Original mixes like the Lavender Latte, have become a signature favorite of General Manager James Markiewicz.

“We want to create a place where all ages and interests can find a place to meet and be comfortable.” Justin said. This focus on creating community is not a wacky side venture. It is a definite intention of the owners, and works well for the various local organizations that regularly meet here.


On my visit, a chess game was in full tilt alongside couples out for Saturday brunch. Tablets and laptops dotted the landscape, sharing room with guests along the dark wood community tables. And tucked away behind a curtain wall, partygoers enjoyed a baby-shower. According to Jessica Sprenkel, Event Coordinator, Foolish Things is a favorite location for wedding receptions, poetry slams, and rehearsal dinners. Katie, who is also the co-owner of Ever Something, keeps the interior simple and approachable.



“Our hope is that visitors feel at home here,” said Justin. Whether working or with friends, there’s a place for you at Foolish Things’ tables.


Thoughtful components, such as the community tables, are purposefully chosen to encourage dialogue, community and discussion. For this diner, it was a nice distinction to an old world custom of meeting people in common areas, fostering friendship and discovering new ideas.



I like the idea of having lunch with my adult children while settling alongside area artists, writers, and entrepreneurs.


Yet the most thoughtfully appointed restaurant will succeed when its food does, and Foolish Things takes their products very seriously. Housemade, gluten-free granola with local Lomah dairy yogurt, sweetened with a touch of Gold Standard Honey make even a snack memorable.


Whenever possible, syrups and breads are made in house, and local ingredients are used. “We want our offerings to be the best we can offer,” said Justin, “and we never compromise taste for trends.”



Breakfast sandwiches, such as the #2 (Egg, tomato, spinach and mozzarella) are served on housemade English muffins. Crazy-good! Come summer of 2016, Foolish Things hopes to broaden their menu to include more breakfast and brunch items.


I enjoyed the exuberant offerings of their Signature Drinking Guide most of all. My personal favorite was the Dusty Rose, made from housemade rosewater lemonade and espresso. This taste is like a grown-up summer drink, and comes tastefully served barware style. The Saint Frank, tonic water and espresso, just might be my next summer crush.


Foolish Things is open 7 – 6:30 weekdays, 8 – 3:30 Saturdays and currently closed on Sundays. Special events can be planned through Jessica Sprenkel, Event Coordinator.


 Foolish Things
1001 S. Main St.

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The Novel Gardener

About The Novel Gardener

"The Novel Gardener", Maurie Traylor, lives, creates, writes, paints, gardens and cooks in Mid-Town Tulsa. Her work has appeared in Oklahoma Gardener, Edible Tulsa Magazine and The Tulsa Literary Review. When not writing or painting, Maurie works with clients in creating meaningful spaces for home and garden. Her inspiration for her creative life stems from her family, namely her grandmother, whose garden and kitchen fed migrant workers and a large family during The Great Depression. Following that example, Maurie begins each day with the question, "What can we create today?"