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Posts Tagged ‘Chronicle Coffee’

The Scoop: Four local coffee businesses buzzing with news

Monday, June 30th, 2014


{The new counter at Kaldi’s at Farrell, opening July 1 at Washington University’s School of Medicine}


It’s a good time to be a caffeine addict. Coffee’s third wave has increased options for the coffee-savvy. But the wave isn’t receding, as four local coffee businesses are keeping the scene buzzing.

Art House Coffees in Maplewood is filled to the brim with new developments. The micro-roaster, currently located at 3111 Sutton Ave., is moving down the street to a larger space at 2808 Sutton Ave. The relocation will allow it to add a cafe component. The 12-seat cafe, Living Room, will offer single-origin brews, as well as bottles and growlers of concentrated cold-press coffee. Food will feature breads, cookies, homemade crackers with dips, and other light noshes by baker Nate Larson, son of Art House Coffee owner Barry Larson. Nate Larson anticipates Living Room to open in late September or early October.

But Art House is on the go in more ways than one. The company will soon roll out a custom-designed coffee cart to bring to area farmers markets that will offer espresso coffee drinks and cold-press coffee. Look for Art House’s pushcart at the Schlafly, Clayton, Webster Groves and Wildwood Farmers Markets within the next two weeks.

Going mobile

If chefs can do pop-ups, so can baristas. That’s the mindset of Paul Nahrgang and Tim Drescher, who shared news with St. Louis Magazine last week that they are launching nomadic coffee company, Wayfarer Coffee Co.

Nahrgang left his barista post at VB Chocolate Bar to join forces with Drescher, owner of Kuva coffee. “We’ve been friends for a while,” Nahrgang said. “(Drescher) comes from the second-wave coffee era. I started in this whole third-wave movement. We started talking about opening a truck, a cart, a kiosk. How cool would it be to have a completely mobile coffee shop?”

As a roaster, Nahrgang said Wayfarer will focus on single-origin beans and light roasts. Brews will include iced coffee and experimental items depending on coffee and brewing methods. Wayfarer will remain separate from Drescher’s Kuva brand.

Where will Wayfarer wander? “We are open to just about anything,” Nahrgang said. “We’ve been in talks with Atomic Cowboy about a coffee cocktail hour. Lulu’s Local Eatery … Purple Martin – basically anybody willing to bring us in and try to do something different.”

Although Wayfarer has already made appearances at special events and at area farmers markets, Nahrgagn and Drescher are planning a two- to three-week grand opening tour in August.

Lucky No. 13

Can’t wait until August to get caffeinated? Kaldi’s Coffee recently announced on its blog that its newest location, Kaldi’s at Farrell, opens tomorrow, July 1, in the Farrell Learning and Teaching Center on Washington University’s School of Medicine campus. The coffee shop, located at 520 S. Euclid Ave., in the Central West End, is the sixth Kaldi’s in St. Louis and its 13th overall.

Kaldi’s at Farrell will be open Monday to Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is open to the public. Marketing director Chris Reimer said Kaldi’s couldn’t pass up a chance to takeover the spot after the previous cafe, which served Kaldi’s coffee, closed. “There are so many coffee drinkers in the area, and the foot traffic there is tremendous,” he said. “It was a great opportunity to be in a high density area.”

In additional to the full coffee menu and pastries baked on-site, Kaldi’s at Farrell will also serve an entirely vegetarian breakfast and lunch menu like its sister location on DeMun Avenue in Clayton. “Considering it’s our medical school campus … we wanted to offer a pretty healthy menu,” Reimer said.

Bridging the gap

Another local roaster will also see expansion soon; Chronicle Coffee is opening a second location at 501 N. Grand Blvd., in Grand Center, as reported by the St. Louis Business Journal. Owner Jason Wilson, who also owns Northwest Coffee, said he hopes the new location will both encourage more people to visit Grand Center and urge people to go north of Delmar Boulevard to check out Chronicle’s original location at 1235 Blumeyer St., just off Grand Boulevard.

“I want entice folks to go over to the old location,” Wilson said. “Chronicle will be the pillar between Olive and Grand and Page and Grand,” adding that he hoped the new location would encourage more business development north of Delmar Boulevard.

Wilson expects the Grand Center location to seat 55 to 60 and said it will have a more “communal, urban, city setting.” Customers will be able to order from the full Chronicle coffee menu, as well as partake in wine and an slightly expanded food menu. Wilson hopes to open doors at the new location by late August or mid-September.

Catherine Klene contributed to this report.



The Scoop: Northwest Coffee Roasting Co. sold to owner of Chronicle Coffee

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Rick Milton, owner of Northwest Coffee Roasting Co., has sold his company to Jason Wilson (pictured), the owner of Chronicle Coffee. Chronicle is located just north of Grand Center at 1235 Blumeyer Ave. The sale, completed in December, includes both the Northwest Coffee roasting operation as well as Northwest Coffee cafes in Clayton and the Central West End.

Milton explained that he sold the business that he founded in 1992 because he will be moving to Durango, Colo. He had attempted to sell Northwest Coffee in 2008, but with the global financial crisis that year, “No one was buying,” he said. Milton expects to leave St. Louis in March, finally joining his family, who carried forth with plans for “a lifestyle change” by relocating to Durango in 2008. Milton does not expect to enter the coffee business in his new town.

Wilson explained that the same roaster will continue roasting at Northwest. While bean profiles will remain the same, Wilson noted that he wants to “build on the legacy that Rick built for us.” Among Wilson’s plans is to broaden bean origins, including venturing into more areas of Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania.

“In terms of the aesthetics of Northwest Coffee, there’s not much that’s going to change,” continued Wilson. “It might deserve some paint … a few structural things, but the main thing is updating a few things. Over the next couple of weeks, Rick and I will look at that and make a plan without disturbing the integrity and the culture of the business.” The Northwest Coffee cafes will not see a name change.

One thing that will not change is Chronicle Coffee. While that cafe will continue to carry Northwest Coffee’s beans, it will not see a change in name or concept. “We want to have a different brand that is more an urban core,” explained Wilson, who opened the cafe last September with a goal of “providing a community engagement space.” He said, “We want to grow Chronicle in conjunction with Northwest but just a different name. The Clayton store was built to match that neighborhood. [The] Central West End [location] was built to match that neighborhood. Chronicle is also built to match the community where we’re located.”

The Scoop: Cafe in Renaissance Place at Grand to chart different course for coffee and community

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Jason Wilson is opening a coffee shop at 1235 Blumeyer St., just north of Grand Center. As reported by Doug Moore of the Post-Dispatch, Wilson doesn’t want his cafe, Chronicle Coffee, to be just any old coffee shop. Instead, he hopes to create “a different narrative about coffee” by featuring fair-trade beans from African countries as well as African diaspora coffee-producing countries like Brazil. Chronicle Coffee will be open for breakfast and lunch, but the menu has yet to be determined. Wilson plans to serve goods from local bakers and has already approached Reine and Cbabi Bayoc, co-owners of SweetArt, about supplying their products to his customers.

Wilson explained that he chose the cafe’s location in the area known as Renaissance Place at Grand because he felt that the predominately African American community in the neighborhood lacked “an engagement space.” He hopes that the 30-seat space (located in the same building as the St. Louis Housing Authority), with comfy sofas and other soft seating, will attract patrons to come in and relax over a good cup of coffee.

In honor of Wilson’s deceased mother, the target opening date for Chronicle Coffee is on her birthday, Sept 1. Wilson thought the gesture would make his mother proud since, as a former principal in the St. Louis Public School system, she advocated for education and community.

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