Edge Alley and High Cotton combine operations and share dining space

Two up-and-coming business in the Edge District are combining forces. 

Edge Alley and High Cotton Brewing Company have torn down the wall that separated their two businesses on Monroe Avenue. The new partnership also includes sharing distribution networks as Edge Coffee Co. will piggyback off of the relationships and infrastructure already being used by High Cotton. 

"The guys that own High Cotton are really great with manufacturing and distribution, and my company is good at handling the guest experience and hospitality,” said Edge Alley owner Tim Barker. “So we’ve split the roles between the two businesses.”

Edge Alley now staffs the High Cotton tap room and handles all of the front-of-house guest experience for both businesses. Edge Alley will continue to operate its coffee bar, roasting operation and pop-up retail shops. 

“The goal is to build our outside coffee sales to the point where we’re able to share space on their delivery vehicle,” said Barker.

Right now, Edge Coffee Co.'s beans are sold at Miss Cordelia’s and The Dixon Gallery & Gardens.

“We have a lot of interest for retail placement. We’re still working on packaging and pricing for retail,” said Barker.

He estimates that large-scale distribution could still be six months away. The coffee is roasted onsite at Edge Alley, which can produce four 3-kilo batches per hour.

Edge Alley opened up four months ago, and Edge Alley and High Cotton share an investor. After purchasing the building next to High Cotton, the investor contacted Barker about what they should do with the property. 

“Part of the idea from the beginning was to pull down this wall that separates their tap room from our entry space,” said Barker.

Guests at High Cotton can now order Edge Alley food or cocktails and have them brought over, and people can bring beer into Edge Alley. 

“We’ve already started collaborating: they’ve used our coffee product in some beers, and we’ve used some of their beers in our food preparation,” said Barker.

Upcoming there could be some ticketed Small Plate Saturdays, where there will be limited-seat capacity pairing food with beer, wine and coffee.

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Read more articles by Michael Waddell.

Michael Waddell is a native Memphian who returned to Memphis several years ago after working for nearly a decade in San Diego and St. Petersburg, Fla., as a writer, editor and graphic designer. His work over the past few years has been featured in The Memphis Daily News, Memphis Bioworks Magazine, Memphis Crossroads, the New York Daily News and the New York Post. Contact Michael.