Latteland came under new ownership last year, but the transaction hasn't been very noticeable. That's about to change.
All six local Latteland coffeehouses are set to be rebranded under the name of their corporate parent, St. Louis-based Kaldi's Coffee. Kaldi's has been roasting coffee for the Latteland shops since 2007, and it bought the six Lattelands in 2013. Three of them are going under the renovation knife this spring.
So why has Kaldi decided now is the right time to change the name?
Yesterday at 3 p.m., the bar in the Belfry - chef Celina Tio's casual saloon and coffee-bar concept adjacent to her seven-month-old Collection restaurant at 1532 Grand - was practically vibrating with activity: The concrete floor was being scrubbed; the bar, created out of old reclaimed wood panels, was polished; and all of the liquor was being stocked behind the bar. Last night, Tio was hosting the first of two soft openings (the second is tonight) for the Belfry before its official opening this weekend.
Tio says she's waiting until January 9 to host a "grand opening" for the Belfry and the Collection," but both venues will be open to the public until then.
Tio pointed to the state flag of Pennsylvania hanging on a pistachio-colored wall in a corner of the room, a former showroom for a plumbing supply company. The Belfry and the Collection are names taken from gathering places in the private boarding school in Pennsylvania that Tio attended as a youngster. Tio had hoped to open the Belfry soon after the Collection opened last summer, but construction delays slowed the process. Her first preview of the space was in November.
Since January, Broadway has held these Wednesday tasting adventures at its roasting facility and café at 4012 Washington.
"If you know a little bit about coffee, then you can know a lot more than the average person," says Norton, who suggested the tasting idea during her job interview last September. "And you can learn a great deal in a really short period of time."
On Friday, the tour starts at 5 p.m. and stops by Oddly Correct, Quay Coffee, Shang Tea and Foo's Fabulous Custard. On Saturday, it's from 10 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. with the Filling Station, Broadway Roasting Co. and Annedore's Chocolates among the stops. And on Sunday, Parisi, Latteland and the Roasterie headline the 11 a.m.-3:45 p.m. jaunt.
There are coffeehouses - quiet places to sip a latte, read a magazine, eat a pastry - in almost every neighborhood in the Kansas City metro. In the city's Historic Northeast, not so much. There are plenty of saloons in this area, which boasts the town's first upscale suburb, Pendleton Heights, but even the neighborhood's current gentrification hasn't lured in a bevy of new coffeehouses and art galleries...yet.
But 18 months ago, a clean-cut former Olathe resident, Dan Smith, moved his wife, Wendy, and four children to the area and renovated a two-story building at 3401 East Independence Avenue (it was formerly a second-hand store) to become Eleos Coffee House, where he roasts coffee, serves coffee and conducts Bible study groups every morning at 10 a.m.
"They're not in your face about the religion thing," says actor Ron Megee, who lives a few blocks away. "And the coffee is great."
The Pitch: What's it like to the best barista in the world?
Licata: To be honest, I don't think it has sunk in yet. The world title is one that I have sought for so long, and now that I have it I am a little in shock! To me it does mean a few things. My perspectives are valued by the industry, and I am now a representative for people worldwide who love specialty coffee. It is an honor and a privilege.
"We always want to add a little extra something into our experiences," Kolsto says. "And this allows us to share mediums."
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