The progressive Minneapolis coffee roasting company Peace Coffee has announced the decision to permanently discontinue its brick-and-mortar coffee shops.
As it exits the retail sphere, Peace Coffee is assisting and training the team at Wildflyer Coffee, a coffee company that aims to provide job stability to youth experiencing homelessness, which is taking over Peace’s original coffee shop.
The new Wildflyer Coffee bar is expected to open next month at Peace Wonderland Park coffee location, which opened in 2010 in Minneapolis’ Longfellow neighborhood at 3262 Minnehaha Ave.
Wildflyer Coffee Executive Director Carley Kammerer said in a press release shared by Peace Coffee that having a brick-and-mortar coffee shop will allow the young coffee company to triple its number of employees, providing jobs and skills to youth.
“We will employ at least 20 young people each year, helping cultivate work and life skills, and supporting their journeys out of homelessness,” Kammerer said. “This work is especially important right now, in a year where we’ve received the most applications in our agency’s history. The time is now to invest in our youth and we couldn’t be happier to be doing it here, in this neighborhood, at this iconic coffee spot, and with the backing of our friends at Peace Coffee.”
Peace Coffee shut down all its retail locations — including the Wonderland Park shop in Longfellow and multiple bars inside the AT&T and Capella Towers in downtown Minneapolis — with the emergence of COVID-19 in March. Peace Coffee Co-Owner and CEO Lee Wallace told DCN in June that the company was fortunately well-positioned to survive the early stages of the pandemic shift thanks to strong wholesale and grocery sales.
In a separate online letter to Wildflyer supporters, Kammerer said Wallace reached out to the agency with the idea to transition the Longfellow shop, which is expected to still carry Peace Coffee under the Wildflyer name.
“We spent years weaving Peace Coffee into people’s lives at this location, so we are proud to give Wildflyer a built-in community in which to grow and prosper,” Wallace said. “Wildflyer moves into a space the community already loves and it is an organization that is also in it for good so it’s a perfect match for both companies.”
Peace said it will continue to pursue growth through its roasted coffee business, particularly through wholesale channels. Peace recently re-signed a lease for its roastery off Lake Street in the Midtown region, mere blocks away from the police precinct that was burned down following the police killing of George Floyd in May.