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South-side coffee shop opens tomorrow

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Last edited 2:17 p.m., June 14, 2019

Armed with a passion for coffee and years of business experience, Rance Loftsgard is scheduled to launch Able Coffee & Provisions LLC tomorrow in the Fremont Center.

Loftsgard said he invested $30,000 to bring his concept to market at 3049 S. Fremont Ave. He began interior renovations of the shop he co-owns with Chris Rozier in February.  Able Coffee will serve traditional coffee and espresso drinks, croissants, sandwiches, soups and salads. But he said the star of the menu is the coffee.

“I really want to keep the focus of the shop on coffee,” he said. “What will make us successful is our ‘why.’ We view coffee as a way to connect and help people find a safe third place.”

The term, third place, is a nod to his coffee shop being the next stop after home and work. Loftsgard said he’s also part of what’s known as the third wave of coffee movement, an initiative to produce high-quality, direct-trade beverages.

Loftsgard has experience in apparel, sales consulting and the nonprofit and restaurant industries, but Able Coffee will be the first brick-and-mortar store he’ll launch as an owner. He helped open Elixr Coffee in Philadelphia with friend Evan Inatome, and Able Coffee uses the direct-trade beans.

“Evan and I lived in Indonesia doing tsunami relief and that’s both how we really got a passion for coffee,” Loftsgard said. “What I love about specialty coffee is that it’s an industry where extreme thought is given to every step along the process, from the farmer to the picker to the end consumer. There’s a lot of intentionality around creating best practices.”

Paying homage to his time in Indonesia, the country’s traditional drink, called “kopi sanger,” will have a spot on Able Coffee’s menu. The coffee drink is sweetened with condensed milk.

Loftsgard has five employees and plans to be open daily. He signed a three-year lease for $2,500 per month with Tillman Redevelopment for the 1,600-square-foot space.

Behind the coffee bar, Loftsgard and his artist friends pieced different colored wood together on the wall to mimic shingles. The walls in the rear of the shop are covered in various colors of mismatched wood pieces.

“I feel like I’ve built a really good team. … I’m building a community of people who are pouring into this shop,” he said.

Loftsgard said he plans to host live music at the shop, and he’ll have a wall for a rotating mural by various local artists.

Able Coffee is opening in the same spot that Free Solo Coffee Co. once occupied. That shop was open for less than a year.

“I have a different approach of how I view building a business,” Loftsgard said. “I don’t have any concerns. I think it’s an excellent location.”

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