1615 West 39th Street | 816-931-4539
When musician turned barista Michael Valverde and his pastry-baking wife, Ashley, both animal-rights-minded vegans, opened Mud Pie Vegan Bakery and Coffeehouse last spring with Ashley's mother, Sharon Hughes, a few early customers looked high and low for the expected carafes of cow's milk. They heard, "We have almond milk, soy milk, hemp milk, coconut milk and cashew milk." The way Valverde tells it, though, converting the doubtful hasn't been hard. "I'm a very good barista, so I know how to make a delicious coffee drink no matter what's in it," he explained to us in March. Well, he is and he does. And if the explosion of options sounds confounding at first, Mud Pie provides the kind of mild, sit-for-hours atmosphere where you can while away a sunny Sunday afternoon conducting further experiments. Order a vegan baked good with each fresh cup to get the full experience; the addictive pastries are dreamed up and executed in-house, and the coffee is by boutique KC roaster Oddly Correct. Valverde tapped into his musical side to come up with his espresso roast: "When I explain to the roaster what I want, I'll say 'more strings' or 'less brass.' " Everything here sings.