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REVIEW: Code Coffee Brews Community (Subscriber Content)

By Kyle Young
Published: Last Updated on
Code Coffee decor
Code Coffee decor. Image: Kyle Young.

Code Coffee on Wells Avenue and Ryland Street is a coffee shop dedicated to supporting veterans, active military, law enforcement officers, medical personnel and the many other first-responder groups that serve Reno. The shop serves coffee, specialty drinks, house-made breakfast burritos and sandwiches and locally sourced grab-n-go lunches and pastries. Destinee Sanford, owner and operator, caters to the unique needs of first responders while simultaneously connecting the public with those that serve and protect.

Code Coffee Builds Bridges

Upon entering Code Coffee, patrons will enjoy a tastefully decorated and branded shop with memorabilia that celebrates the full spectrum of first responders.

Blackboard with signature of local first responders at Code Coffee
The Wall of Heroes at Code Coffee.
Image: Kyle Young

Donated patches, patriotic symbols, flags, photographs and the like adorn the shop against a backdrop of blue, gold and natural wood. The Wall of Heroes allows local first responders to leave their mark.

Seating in the shop is ample and comfortable. The business complex also features a beautiful courtyard available only to patrons of the businesses in the complex.

In addition to catering to the unique needs of first responders, Sanford also has the goal of creating a community between first responders and every-day people. She cited a perceived disconnect between the civilian and service-member worlds. She hopes to strengthen the community at large by promoting friendship and dialogue between first responders and the general public.  

Honoring Those Who Serve

I asked Sanford if she has any personal connections with first responders. She shared that her father and husband are police officers and members of her family serve and have served in the military.

Sanford explained that first responders of all types tend to work difficult and odd hours. First responders also sacrifice their own comfort and safety to look out for the rest of us. Due to the demanding work and schedules of this distinct community, Sanford makes every effort to offer quality, grab-n-go food and drink options.

Coffee beans from Black Rifle Coffee
Code Coffee proudly brews Black Rifle coffee. Image: Kyle Young

She and her team prepare breakfast burritos and sandwiches in-house. She purchases the shop’s doughnuts from local favorite, DoughBoys Donuts. She sources her hot, to-go lunches from local meal prep producer, Mother of Macros.

First responders and military personnel, past and present, receive 20% off all food and drinks. Sanford also proudly offers her “Cup for Joe” program, a pay-it-forward program where members of the public can pre-purchase coffee and meals for first responders.

Sanford purchases her coffee from Black Rifle Coffee Company. Black Rifle, based in Utah, is 100% veteran owned and operated. They import their beans from Colombia and Brazil, and they roast the beans to order in small batches.

Patrons of Code Coffee can purchase bags of Black Rifle’s Thin Blue Line variety. According to Black Rifle’s site, “A portion of the profit from sales of this roast will be donated to provide those in the law enforcement community with life-saving equipment and funding.”

Quick, Satisfying Eats and Jet-Fueled Java

At about 1 p.m. on a Sunday, I entered Code Coffee seeking a tasty cup and a hot meal. Sanford kindly hooked me up with both. I ordered a small cup of black coffee (regularly $2.25) and the Carnitas Mamacitas (regularly $10).

Coffee and carnitas
Stiff coffee and tasty eats at
Code Coffee. Image: Kyle Young

The coffee had a mild dark chocolate note, and the caffeine delivered a welcomed kick in the ass. The dark-roasted beans provided a great utility cup of coffee. Those looking for frilly, fruit-forward cups should look elsewhere.

I would have liked to sample one of the shop’s house-made burritos or sandwiches, but I was glad the shop ran out of those dishes before my arrival. I’ll give up a tasty meal to fuel a first responder any day. Besides, the Carnitas Mamacitas prepared by Mother of Macros really hit the spot.

The protein-packed carnitas meal featured roasted pork sirloin, oranges, oregano, garlic, cumin, onion, salt, black beans, tomato salsa, colorful bell peppers, cabbage, avocado oil and lime. Sanford explained that first responders often prefer health-conscious meals to stay sharp for duty. This meal offered 384 calories, 43 grams of protein, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 10 grams of fat and fantastic flavor. Although a variety of hot sauces were available, I enjoyed the meal condiment-free.

Code Coffee Details

Code Coffee is located at 300 S. Wells Ave. #5, Reno, NV 89502. They are open weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and open weekends from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Give them a call at 775-453-1338. Visit them online at codecoffeereno.com.


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