Quietly one of the best roasters in the country over the last half-decade or so, we’re thrilled to get an inside look at a new cafe project from Little Wolf Coffee of Ipswich, MA. This is a special kind of Build-Out, and one of our favorites: a chance to see the next evolution of a coffee company we admire.
As told to Sprudge by Chris Gatti.
For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?
We are a coffee roaster and cafe based out of Ipswich, MA and have been open for almost seven years now. Our goal is to make delicious specialty coffee accessible to everyone with a friendly, fun, and open environment in our cafe in addition to sharing our coffee across the world both directly through our website and in collaboration with our wholesale partners.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
When we opened seven years ago our space was primarily used as our roastery with a tiny “tasting room” of sorts in the front. Over the months and years that evolved into a fully built out cafe for our community to share the space and enjoy coffee within. As the years went on and both the cafe and roastery grew, however, they continued to push at the confines of our space and each side began to make compromises.
Now we are finally separating those two spaces to create a cafe-only space in this new building while leaving the roastery where it is and gaining more room as well. This new cafe space has everything we’ve wished for for seven years with a focus on barista workflow and ergonomics while keeping the bar as minimal as possible to continue the inviting environment we want our customers to have.
We also wanted the design to really lean into our fun playful side and so we’re including a lot of color and quirky design details to really make the space our own.
What’s your approach to coffee?
Our coffees are always lighter but never underdeveloped to allow the coffees qualities to show through our roasts. We always have a range of flavor profiles available in our offerings so while the roast may be light, we still carry everything from lower acid fuller bodied coffees to wild anaeorbic Ethiopian naturals.
In our cafe we aim to create an inviting, non judgmental side of service to specialty coffee. Whether you want a little cream, something sweet with our home made syrups or just a shot of espresso, we’ll be there for you.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
The majority of our equipment is moving with us including our custom Synesso MVP, Curtis G4 Twin, Mahlkönig EK43, Peak, and K30 grinders, however, we are adding some fun new toys including a Curtis Corinth and Tone Touch 03.
We’re especially excited for the Tone as we have previously not offered pour-over but after testing the Tone we decided it was finally the perfect option for us to add them to our menu. With the Tone we’ll be able to customize in depth recipes for all of our coffees with perfect consistency and without interrupting our barista’s workflow too much.
How is your project considering sustainability?
With sustainability our goal is to minimize waste everywhere we can between design, construction, and ultimately service. In construction, we have reused as much of the existing building as possible in addition to reusing scrap trim and composite building materials where possible. Since our roastery is just next door, we will be providing all of our bulk coffee in reusable containers vs bags and utilizing compostable cups and straws. We will also continue encouraging customers to bring their own cups/thermoses for all of our beverage offerings.
What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?
We opened in June 2022 at long last!
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
Our architect is Josh Fenollosa and J.J. Welch Construction helped bring those plans to life. Everyone has been a pleasure to work with, especially as we (and the town) continually threw changes along the way and helped get everything done in a timely manner.