Co-Owner, Deborah Armstrong Bio
After working 33 years in the corporate world, I needed to find myself again. I needed to find that easy going, easy talking, soft-spoken, cool dressing, reggae listening girl with the vibe. In my younger years I was at times called Grace Jones, Tracy Chapman, Lauren Hill; little did anyone know how those comparisons bothered me, even though all 3 women were brilliant women. I felt the comparison was simply because I was black.
Years later I figured out it was the simplest way for many people to communicate when trying to break the ice, connect or have easy conversation. When we (my significant other and I) opened Pour Coffeehouse I created a place to be myself again, to have easy conversations with people, to connect with all kinds of people, and have a place where people can just be themselves, sit back and relax.
I’m originally from Barbados and moved to Boston with my family when I was ten years old. I graduated from Newbury College with a degree in Computer Science and right after graduation was recruited by the State of Massachusetts to work in the Office of Management Information Systems. Having a degree in Computer Science and being black opened many doors back when Affirmative Action was the word of the day. Those doors created the foundation of a long career in technology, which continued when I moved to live in California, Denver, and eventually Las Vegas.
I’m often asked how I went from tech to open a coffee shop. I traveled hundreds of thousands of miles for work and coffee shops became a frequent stop during my long days. Coffee shops were a place to relax, have a chat, or just be. I realized how much my appreciation for coffee shop culture was tied to when I lived close to Lower Downtown Denver (Lodo) which exposed me to different foods, culture, coffee, lifestyles. I loved getting to know all sorts of people.
After 33 years in the corporate world it didn’t take long to realize that life after corporate meant opening my own coffee shop. I especially wanted to start the next phase of life being myself again and spend more time at home with my partner of 23 years. So we created Pour Coffeehouse.
I went to school at the American Barista Coffee School in Portland Oregon and became a certified Barista and coffee shop owner. Going to Barista school was a major component of my plans. It allowed me to develop a good understanding of coffee, the coffee industry and barista techniques. We found a location to lease, which was a challenge, as it’s the 2nd most critical thing when opening a coffee shop or any business. We started the build out of my coffee shop and we traveled to San Francisco to visit as many coffee shops as possible. We purchased the barista equipment, and most of what we needed to open the doors. I hired my team and went full speed ahead.
Pour Coffeehouse opened on October 19, 2015. It’s a space to celebrate and support the local Las Vegas community. It’s a place to enjoy great tea, coffee, smoothies, food, art and music. We have events for kids, local business owners, and LBGTQ organizers. Pour has become a place for repeat visitors who realize you can have some downtime in Las Vegas. They love coming to a place where they can relax in a space with a lot of natural light, enjoy healthy food and take in work by local artists.
In 2016 Cosmopolitan Magazine chose us as the best coffee shop in Las Vegas! Looks like we’re doing something right….