Another incredible week of Build-Outs here on Sprudge, as our roving summer feature series has taken us all around the world, from Southern California to Mumbai to Alabama. We're landing today in Ayampe, Ecuador, home to a charmingly tiny (just 130 square feet!) plaza coffee bar called Distinto.
As told to Sprudge by Johnny Randolph.
For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?
We serve specialty coffee from farms and roasters located in Ecuador. Our focus is on displaying the variety of flavors available in Ecuadorian coffee. We have a small menu of pastries and toasts. We offer customized one-on-one coffee classes as well.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
We have a small cafe in an open air “food court” type of plaza. We have a one-group espresso machine and prepare our pour-overs using various methods. The counters are custom built to represent the two natural bodies of water, the Ayampe River and the Pacific Ocean, that play an important role in our small beach town. We use custom hand-made ceramic cups. On our walls we display art and photography from local artists that is available for purchase. The cafeteria itself is just under 130 square feet.
What’s your approach to coffee?
All coffees are prepared to order. The primary goal is to let the producers and roasters we decide to work with do the best they can to create a quality product and from there we brew each coffee to the best of our ability. We have a small menu, but we encourage guests to order their favorite coffee drink and if we have the supplies to make it we hope it is exactly what they are looking for.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
We plan to cut a small window in the cafe for a small bar seating area and better visibility from the road. Aside from that, and this is not equipment, but we are very excited for the first ever Cup of Excellence in Ecuador this year!
How is your project considering sustainability?
Beverages are served “for here” unless otherwise requested. We do not use plastic ware for any of our takeaway items. The grey water from our dish sink is used to water the citrus trees we have in the plaza during our dry season. Recycling in Ecuador is virtually non existent so we do not sell any prepackaged goods for purchase.
What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?
We opened December 21, 2020.
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
Palo Santo Taller for ceramics, Nesser Cano for photography, Zack Barba for paintings.
¡Gracias a ti!
Photos by Kenner Serrano, used with permission