One coffee shop has replaced another at The Fairbanks in northwest Springfield.
Kaiju Coffee is a newcomer to the community resource hub at 1126 N. Broadway Ave. Co-owners Taylor Gunter, James Legault and Alex De Luca are the lone employees for the venture, which launched Nov. 21.
Legault said the trio registered the company with the Missouri secretary of state’s office as Ozarks Coffee Collective LLC but does business as Kaiju Coffee. The original plan was to open the shop in a food truck or trailer before the team learned that Fairbanks Coffee, owned and operated by Life360 Community Services, had shuttered at The Fairbanks, he said.
“So, we ended up in this nice, really quaint spot instead of a truck somewhere,” he said, noting Kaiju Coffee is on a temporary lease with nonprofit Drew Lewis Foundation Inc. through the end of the year.
“They wanted to make sure we’re a good culture fit for the building,” Gunter said.
The owners say discussions with Drew Lewis Foundation founder Amy Blansit are ongoing to extend the lease for a yet-to-be-determined length.
Legault said the Drew Lewis Foundation already had equipment, such as an espresso machine, available for the coffee shop to utilize, which reduced startup costs to around $1,500.
The shop is sourcing its coffee beans through Battlefield-based Copper Canyon Coffee Roasters, Legault said. Its coffee menu includes cold brew, lattes, espresso and specials, such as the Kong, which is hot chocolate with espresso, along with almond and vanilla syrups. The syrups all are made in-house, Gunter said.
Kaiju Coffee also serves a small food menu, including gluten-free almond cake, lemon-blueberry cake and focaccia bread.
The new venture marks the second collaboration for Legault and Gunter, who co-own Millennial Assistants LLC, a sales and marketing support firm they started in early 2021.
Ariake Sushi and Robata opened; Great Southern Bancorp Inc. (Nasdaq: GSBC) opened its newest branch in Springfield; and a longtime employee with City Utilities of Springfield went into business for himself with the launch of Van Every Drafting & Design LLC.