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Chicago's Big Shoulders Coffee tops list of best independent coffee shops

Foodie Friday: Big Shoulders Coffee
Foodie Friday: Big Shoulders Coffee 03:02

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Chicago's Big Shoulders Coffee has been named the best independent coffee shop in the country.

Big Shoulders made No. 1 in USA Today's 10 Best Reader's Choice rankings for independent coffee shops. The list was published Nov. 3.

"With multiple locations in the Chicago area, Big Shoulders Coffee is a must-stop for no-nonsense artisan beans, roasted to perfection," USA Today wrote. "Founder Tim Coonan is a chef who picked up roasting as a hobby before turning pro. He and his team source beans from trusted farmers, roasting them to preserve the essence of each harvest and brewing them with utmost precision."

CBS News Chicago's Jamaica Ponder dropped by the Pilsen warehouse for Big Shoulders Coffee in August. Coonan explained to Ponder how the chain has spent all the last decade perfecting the art of both roasting and hosting.

"I was doing this all out of my garage over a propane burner, with a homemade jerry-rigged roasting pan made from a cast iron popcorn popper that my mom donated," Coonan said in August. "So that's where it started."

At the Pilsen warehouse, Coonan – a former fine dining chef – and his wife roast around 2,000 pounds of coffee a day. The coffee goes out to their five Chicago cafés, local restaurants, and can be shipped around the country.

Big Shoulders Coffee has locations at 1105 W. Chicago Ave. in West Town, 858 N. State St. in the Gold Coast, 213 W. Lake St. downtown, 141 W. Jackson Blvd. in the Chicago Board of Trade, and 311 S. Wacker Dr.

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