Springfield, MO

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Latin coffee shop targets launch next week

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Springfield’s south side is about to gain a new coffee shop – one with a Latin theme – from two first-time business owners.

Husband and wife Cristhian and Shanie Valdez are targeting Feb. 1 as opening day for El Cafecito at 2462 S. Campbell Ave.

The couple have nearly 20 years combined experience in the restaurant industry, including past employment at La Paloma LLC and El Charro, said Shanie Valdez, noting she also works as part of a bilingual real estate team with Keller Williams Greater Springfield.

“I’m still doing real estate, but I had been thinking about doing something more,” Valdez said, adding she and her husband were intrigued by the idea of opening a coffee shop with Latin influences. “We are both coffee fanatics – always have been. We were like, let’s do it, and we started brainstorming and came up with menu items that no one here in Springfield has.”

Latin American coffee will be among menu offerings for the shop, said Valdez, adding some of the drinks will include sweetened condensed milk and cajeta, a caramel syrup made with goat’s milk.

“We are making real homemade horchata and going to be using it for lattes,” she said, adding the shop also will serve hot and cold teas and energy drinks.

While the menu will expand in the future, Valdez said most items initially have a Mexican origin. While Valdez said she grew up in Bolivar, her husband is a native of Guadalajara, Mexico.

“Tortas ahogadas, lonches, and sincronizadas are more of what they do in Guadalajara,” she said of a variety of Mexican sandwiches, adding those are among food items on the menu, along with a breakfast burrito made with chorizo, eggs, potatoes, bacon and a chimichurri sauce.

Valdez declined to disclose startup costs or the five-year lease rate with landlord Larry Holder. She said the eight-employee shop also has a drive-thru and fills roughly 900 square feet in space formerly occupied by restaurant Asia Express LLC, which shuttered last year.


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