Living in the Enderly Park neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina, for the past decade, Enderly Coffee Founders Becky and Tony Santoro have come to love the area deeply. So as they collaborated with designers for the six-year-old roasting company’s first retail cafe, currently in soft-opening, the two former school teachers wanted to incorporate elements both from and for the community.
The long, communal table in the new cafe’s main seating area and the retail shelving were built with wood from bygone local farm structures. This includes poplar from a barn owned by a beloved local dairy farmer whose family sold the land to the county after his passing on the condition that it never be developed. Today, it hosts a bird sanctuary, park and splash pad for kids.
Artwork displayed in the 1,000-square-foot cafe comes from local nonprofits, and for a designated kids’ play corner of the shop, a kid-size wooden coffee bar full of toy coffee-makers and other fun stuff was built by Project 658, a refugee assistance nonprofit in Charlotte that offers woodworking classes to high school students.
“Kids love it, but parents love it more,” Tony Santoro told Daily Coffee News of the play area. “We wanted to create a space where a mom could come in with kids, sit down, take a break while the kids entertained themselves. It is the most popular part of our coffee shop, next to the iced oat dirty chai.”
The cafe’s concrete floor, white walls, white marble service counter and white tile behind the counter all serve to direct patrons’ eyes to the blazing yellow La Marzocco Linea EE espresso machine behind the counter that’s also echoed by yellow branded mugs for sale on the retail shelves nearby. Said Santoro, “Yellow has been a color of our brand since the beginning.”
The Linea is paired with a Mazzer Major grinder for a full espresso menu alongside brewed options that include Fetco batch and featured coffees prepared one at a time on Clever Coffee Drippers, all based on beans roasted offsite on the company’s long-standing 15-kilo Ambex production roaster. Soon, roasting will be brought on site with a newly acquired 12-kilo US Roaster Corp machine.
Santoro said the new USRC will allow the company — which also offers equipment, training and consultation services — to delve deeper into smaller quantities of rarer and more unique beans, while also allowing for expansion of the wholesale program.
“We are planning on relocating the roastery closer to the shop,” said Santoro. “With that we may eventually play with RTD products, but for now we are going to continue to focus primarily on growth of our wholesale and running this cafe very well.”
The Enderly Coffee cafe is open now and will hold its official grand opening later this summer at 2620 Tuckaseegee Road in northwest Charlotte.