It all started with a cup of JOE, by Dena Jones


Have you ever wanted to go somewhere where everyone knew your name? I know the old saying from Cheers can appear a bit cheesy, but it is true! People generally want to go back to places where others know their name because they feel like they fit in & let’s face it everyone loves to hear their name! I knew the first time I stumbled into the Coffee Shop at Agritopia in Gilbert while rushing to work I found a new favorite place for that exact reason! When I ordered my iced coffee with gingerbread they asked me my name, they spelled it right and they even used it. I know this seems so basic and almost trivial but they made me feel at home in an unfamiliar town. I had just moved to Gilbert and I was looking for a new coffee spot to frequent. Admittedly, I was formerly starbuck’s junkie, but I was smitten by the coffee from the Coffee Shop at the first sip & my experience made me know I had just discovered a very special place where I felt at home.

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My encounter at the Coffee Shop made me want to learn all about the community it was located in. I drove through Agritopia and this is what I saw. People were sitting on their front porches, which I think is a very rare thing to see in most Arizona neighborhoods. Being an Arizona native, there are so many neighborhoods that I have been in that feel cold where residents come home, shut their garage and spend all their time in the backyard or in the house. This is not what I saw in Agritopia. The streets were lined with trees and there were more green areas than I could even keep track of. I saw children playing at the park, people playing tennis and many other just walking around. I thought the homes looked like they belonged in California in a beach community because they were so cute and had such unique elevations and color schemes. There was a school nestled in the center of the community and the there was even an urban working farm. I knew this was not a typical neighborhood and I sensed the same thing I felt at the coffee shop and that was community. To me, community is something you feel. This master planned mixed use development facilitated community among residents and it doesn’t have cookie cutter homes. There are more than 10 unique floor plans with several special features including basements and home sizes vary.

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I feel like I stumbled on a very special treasure that first day I walked into the Coffee Shop. Now, more than three years later I still frequent it for pumpkin spiced lattes, wonderful cupcakes, great food and now they even remember my dog’s name because she comes with me. I have conducted business meetings, coffee talk with friends and family lunches at the coffee shop. Every single time I am in there I run into someone great and connect. I would highly recommend checking out the community of Agritopia and everything it has to offer including Joe’s farm grill if you want an experience to write about and you want to go somewhere where people know your name.

If you are interested in learning more about Agritopia or seeing some of the homes they offer there in person, please contact DENA JONES either on her Facebook Fan Page or email her directly at