Mankind surfs Craigslist for all sorts of things. From the benign to the unspeakable, it's all there: a cornucopia of heavy equipment and musical instruments, sublets and missed connections, rants, raves, the rare and the mundane. There's even coffee! Coffee tables, sure, but also coffee brewers, frappe makers, lil' coffee roasters, and sometimes, even whole coffee shops.
This is the story of one such Craigslist coffee shop. What started as a casual encounter in search of an espresso machine has become something much more in Elmhurst, Illinois. This is the story of Brewpoint Coffee, now preparing to open their second location and roastery in the Chicago suburbs.
As told to Sprudge by Melissa Villanueva.
For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?
Have you ever looked on Craigslist for an espresso machine, but ended up buying a coffee shop instead? That is the story of Brewpoint Coffee. It is a hodgepodge of serendipitous opportunities that brewed together to build a booming coffee shop in Elmhurst, IL. I started this business with my boyfriend Angelo and in the midst of under three years, we got married, hired 15 dynamic staff members, and started our next steps of roasting and our second retail operation.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
Our mission at Brewpoint Coffee is to create and empower authentic community spaces. Everything we do is an excuse for community. So naturally, when we decided to build out our roastery, it needed to be something that the whole Chicago western suburbs could enjoy. This would be our second location. The build out is starting just after Memorial Day and our opening will be in September.
We are renovating a 4,500 square foot loading dock on the north side of our town (Elmhurst) to create a coffee and community destination location. We are receiving help from our city and our new landlord for a total of over 50% of our total build out and project costs.
What’s your approach to coffee?
Coffee is our conduit to build up and empower communities. Whether that is through the authentic spaces we build, empowerment to our wholesale cafes to be agents of kindness in their area, or being intentional with partnering with farmers that build up their communities.
The more we can be inventive, creative, and transparent with our coffee the better.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
For our main operation we plan on working with a La Marazoco Linea PB two-group manual espresso machine, a Mahlkönig PEAK grinder, and a FETCO CBS-2152XTS. For our roaster we have purchased one of the first USA manufactured Probat 12-2 roasters.
What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
Our architect Bill Rock has been a rockstar. Our design company Spoon Inc. (Michael Gold) has helped our company astronomically since we opened. Roz Long who hosts all the big artist events in the western suburbs is a big part of our success. Of course, without our staff we wouldn't be able to dream this big. And lastly our family, with their unwavering support is our foundation.