New coffee shop earns local acclaim

Michael Farrel, Business Manager

Located in the Target Plaza next to the Yogurt Spot, Alba Coffee shop is leaving a mark on the local community. 

Its relaxed atmosphere and great coffee can lead to a great morning coffee run to a late night hangout. 

Alba claims to be “Tampa’s friendliest coffee shop,” and as soon as I entered their door they lived up to this promise.  The friendly service and excellent drinks sold me on this small, family run shop.  In addition to Alba’s beverage options, they offer a variety of gourmet sandwiches and pastries, many of which are imported from Scotland.

Store owner Ian A. Craig created and currently runs Alba coffee shop with help from his family members and employees.

 “I started Alba because of my passion for coffee” said Craig (or as some regulars may call him “Ian the Coffee Man”). 

 From my experience alone, I could see that Ian is very personable with all of his customers and I could easily see that he knows his coffee!

“There was seven months of planning into this business before we opened our doors on May 1 of this year,” said Craig.

 Gaither students are taking notice of this up-and-coming business.

 “Ian’s love for coffee is evident in his product,” said senior Chenin Fernandez. 

Fernandez raves about the great environment and great food at Alba. 

“My usual order is a Hot Mocha with a chocolate chip muffin,” said Fernandez. 

Alba has been known to have a variety of entertainment in the evenings ranging from live music to trivia nights.  Gaither senior Taylor Raynor is the entertainment director at Alba when he’s not busy making your drinks. 

“I love working at Alba because I enjoy serving people coffee and also everyone here is Scottish!” said Raynor. 

On select nights, Taylor plays music at Alba to an audience enjoying their lattes. 

If you are not a fan of coffee, Alba also serves some of the best smoothies in town as well as delicious frappes (which are probably not so great on the calorie count!)

After my visits to this shop, I am proud to say I am now riding the Alba bandwagon and I have disposed of all my Starbucks gift cards! 

For more information go to or find Alba Coffee on FaceBook.