It's here! The 2018 Build-Outs of Summer is finally here. And it only seems fitting to start out our sixth season much in the same way that each of the cafes we will be featuring over the coming months begin their journey: with a blueprint. Blueprint Coffee, that is.
Hailing from St. Louis, Missouri, Blueprint is a well-known brand in the specialty coffee world, and we are pleased as punch to start this year's series of Builds with their second location, opening in no time flat just off the famed Route 66; they are setting a high bar for all who follow. So let's get this summer started right and check in with Blueprint Coffee, shall we?
As told to Sprudge by Mike Marquard.
For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?
Blueprint Coffee opened in September of 2013. It is a collective ownership group of six passionate friends, most of who worked together in the St. Louis coffee and restaurant space from 2006-2013. Our first location on St. Louis' famous Delmar Loop houses both our roasting operation and first coffee bar. Out of this space we have grown both in local reputation and customer-base as well as established ourselves as a national wholesale roaster.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
The new location sits just a half block off of one of the Route 66 routes through St. Louis. It was this heavy traffic that established many of the storied St. Louis businesses that will be our neighbors, such as Ted Drewes Frozen Custard (it really is good, boys and girls) and Donut Drive-In. The building has served as an auto-repair shop for the last 70+ years, but with some love and vision will become a very interactive coffee space. We have preserved four of the original five garage openings and will keep those doors open when weather permits so that our space stretches outside. Our original location on Delmar is extremely limited when it comes to outdoor seating, so this new potential on Watson is very exciting for us.
What’s your approach to coffee?
We buy coffee seasonally and, as often as possible, from the same partners at origin year after year. In the last five years, we've established some amazing relationships and gotten to work at origin on both actively aerated compost tea and processing projects. We typically offer three single origin coffees, a filter blend called Tektōn, an espresso blend called Penrose, and a single origin decaf coffee. The single origin and blend ratios last two to four months before being rotated. Even within our blends, we're focused on mutual beneficial partnerships at origin and sourcing seasonal coffees.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
For sure! We're quite excited about our Marco SP9 single-cup brewer. We're hoping it allows us to continue to offer a wide variety of black coffees every day like we've done at Delmar with our hand brew menu, but we feel it will only increase the consistency of these brews. We've also got a six tap system set up and plan to offer a wide-variety of cold beverages—from cold brew to nitro to our fruit shrubs… maybe even some sparkling and still iced teas. We feel like this will be a nice compliment to our menu in the hot summer months of St. Louis. Also the NA craft beverage industry is an market we feel like can only improve. Sugary soda's and juice seem to dominate that market, but we've start tinkering with tea and coffee derivatives that are quite delightful and complex.
What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
Yes, we started with the direction of Allison Mendez and Jonathan Stitelman, two Blueprint Coffee regulars that teach in the architecture and urban planning realm. We then took some of their vision for the space to Mademan Designs (Nick Adams) and the Lloyd Brothers (Joe and Phil), who created many of our tables and fixtures at Delmar to bring some continuity to the Blueprint Coffee atmosphere.
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