Greetings, and welcome to the 2016 edition of Build-Outs Of Summer, our globe-spanning look at what’s new, now, and next in the world of specialty coffee. Budding new cafes have written in from across the world, and we’ll be featuring new entries every other day or so right here on Sprudge.
And what better way to start it off than by featuring a build-out from the great and chill American start of Colorado. A major boom in coffee culture is underway up in the Rockies, and this won’t be the only Colorado cafe featured on this season’s BOTS series. But to kick things off we checking out an established brand preparing to open a brand new spot.
That’s Ozo Coffee Company, whose Director of Retail Greg Lefcourt is well-known in American specialty coffee circles for his dedication to the barista competition circuit, both as a past competitor (RIP, Rocky Mountain Regional) and these days as a respected judge. Lefcourt’s been part of the Ozo team for many moons, and today he’s telling us more about their fourth location in a suburb of Boulder. Greg’s enthusiasm is unstoppable; we challenge future Build-Outs submitters to be as stoked as this guy, and if you’re in the Boulder area, mark June 30th on your calendar for a sweet new cafe opening from Ozo.
As told to Sprudge by Greg Lefcourt, Director of Retail at Ozo Coffee Company.
For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?
Ozo Coffee Company was founded in 2007 with one retail location in East Boulder. We always knew we wanted to roast our own coffee and after competing at the 2009 United States Barista Championship, we came home to Boulder and purchased a beautiful Diedrich IR-12. In 2009 we opened our second retail location in downtown Boulder, half a block off the Pearl Street Mall. We then outgrew our first roastery space and relocated to a business and technology park where we currently house Ozo Coffee Roasters and have opened our third location (smallest) on the front of the space. We have also upgraded our roasting capacity by adding a 1950s 60-kilo Gothot roaster that we completely modified and improved. The Ozo Longmont location will be our fourth retail shop and we’re slated to open early Summer 2016!
We source much of our coffee directly from farmers and work very closely with many importers to continue our commitment to quality coffee, sustainability, and ethical business practices. We run our shops on the simple mission of “Quality, Service, and Speed”, continuing to grow organically as a business and receiving many accolades over the years for our community-focused approaches to business and for the cup quality year in and year out.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
Our Longmont location is going to be AMAZING! This will be our first shop outside of the city of Boulder and we feel the rapidly growing community of Longmont, just 20 minutes north from Boulder, is thirsty for some new amenities for the area. As Boulder’s real estate has gotten totally out of control, many younger professionals are looking to the outskirts to buy housing, but until recently there were fewer options for a similar vibe that Boulder offers the more foodie and craft goods-seeking generation.
The location is in a brand new shopping plaza on the site of the former Twin Peaks Mall, a Longmont relic torn down about two years ago. The new Village at the Peaks development is just what the southwest side of Longmont needed to refresh into the 21st Century. The plaza is full of different tenants such as a movie theater, specialty wine and spirits store, restaurants, and a quite large Whole Foods Market, to name a few.
Our buildout plans are extensive and detailed as we took over a 2,700-square-foot vanilla shell and began the construction only weeks ago. Two custom Synesso Hydra MVPs have already landed in our Lab and Training Center at our Roastery in Boulder; we’re really starting to take shape.
A full mezzanine wrapping around above the bar area and state of the art equipment and bar layout will allow for a very integrated and connected feeling inside the space. We always set up our larger locations with two three-group Synessos and plenty of staff to accommodate for our business model of helping the masses (volume of customers in the door) and we plan to be very busy in the new location!
What’s your approach to coffee?
Quality across the board! We want to have options for everyone. We generally like to have a wide variety of coffee offerings to choose from when selecting whole beans to take home and in-store we can offer anything we currently have as a manually brewed cup via V60 pour-over, Chemex, or French press. We also offer two different espresso options daily, whether it be our signature espresso blends or a single-origin offering. In regards to roasting, Ozo’s approach is to keep the integrity of the coffee intact, and we take our roast levels to the optimal depth for clarity, consistency, sweetness, and balance.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
– Two custom Synesso Hydra MVPs (which are super sweet and being bench-tested in our SCAA Certified Lab and Training Center right now)!
– Two FETCO batch brewers
– A few in-counter pitcher rinsers/working countertops
– Reclaimed, local Boulder County wood for all table and countertops
– A few different grinders: Mahlkönig EK 43, Mazzer Kony, Mahlkönig Peak…
What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?
June 30, 2016, oh so hopeful!
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
– Surround Architecture is on point with putting our vision into reality
– Sun Construction is our GC and crushing it
– Good Apples design studio for our newer branding concepts (launched last summer)
– The entire Ozo team for seriously focused dedication and execution
What’s the address?