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A New and Flavorful Brew in Fort Forth

Blending Local Art with Coffee

By Elizabeth Sehon

Sarah Tucker was always drawn to quaint coffee shops, which started while roaming the streets of Europe on a trip as a teen. It could be Paris or a small town in Italy, but one thing she loved remained constant — locals gathering, quietly conversing while sipping espresso. 

Sara is now the owner of Love Local Coffee & Art Shop and has dreamt about opening a coffee shop since high school, but with a fresh approach. Something that resembled the warm and intimate atmosphere of the Parisian and Italian cafes but with her own passionate twist — supporting local artists.

“I always wanted to open a coffee shop, but I wanted it blended with something else unique,” Sara says. “That was the missing part. I couldn’t figure it out until much later after working in graphic design and marketing for a decade. I got into the local art scene by selling my own designs and illustrations at ArtsGoggle and local markets.”

Nestled in southwest Fort Worth on South Hulen Street, the shop opened in October of 2020 and serves coffee-based drinks and pastries, with local artwork for sale across the entire cafe. But before her shop opened, she co-founded an art market, which was shelved after the beginning of COVID shutdowns. But through that experience, Sara took notes, one of which was the reality that few, if any, of these talented artists had any storefronts or venues.

“That’s when I realized the missing part to my future coffee shop — art. Ninety-five percent of the artists we carry do not have a storefront. So, this is one of the very few places where you can find local artists’ work unless you went to a market. You can’t just find this anywhere,” she says. 

Linda Neubauer, owner of Linda Neubauer Pottery, represents many of the local artists who need a venue to showcase their work and says that she considers herself fortunate that Sara displays her wheel-thrown and handcrafted pottery. Several of Linda’s pieces are doused in bright colors and branded with symbols representative of Fort Worth and Texas culture.

“It’s important to back local artists because the proceeds immediately go back into the community,” Linda says. “When it comes to local artists and artisans, you’re purchasing one-of-a-kind items, and quite honestly, local artists cannot compete with big-box stores and chains.”

Sara, who says she always was entrepreneurial, left what she called a “cush” job in marketing to open Love Local, but her timing was anything but great. She left her job to start the coffee shop two weeks before the pandemic shutdown. This, combined with product shortages, delayed the opening for four months. Furniture she couldn’t find, she had built, hiring another kind of artist — a local woodworker — who built the shop’s bar and tables.

Blair Fawcett, Fort Worth resident and coffee enthusiast, works near the coffee shop and after stumbling upon it during her lunch break, is now a loyal patron. She says the cafe exudes warm vibes from the well-arranged local artwork.

“I was charmed by the atmosphere and the trinkets instantly,” Blair says. “When we support local artists, we support our own humanity — and seeing their art around us and knowing there are artists in our ranks create a more well-rounded society,” she says.

Although the past couple of years have been tumultuous, Sara survived it all, and in October, Love Local celebrated its second anniversary. She made it with the help of her friends and other women business owners, like Tina Howard, who owns Leaves Book and Tea Shop and Stir Crazy Baked Goods.

“She has been super supportive,” Sara says. “It’s those kinds of connections that help. All you have to do is ask, and most of the time, people will talk to you. Be open — don’t view other owners as competition but as advocates, mentors, and resources.”

Like every other day here, that second anniversary party will be lively and with a purpose. 

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