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Look Alive Coffee Springs to Life in St. Petersburg, Florida

Look Alive Coffee St. Petersburg 1

The Look Alive Coffee roastery in St. Petersburg, Florida. All images courtesy of Look Alive Coffee.

Heads up, coffee drinkers in St. Petersburg, Florida: A new roasting company called Look Alive Coffee is kicking out fresh roasts with a dash of surf and punk attitude. 

Founded by freelance designer and artist Kelly Packard, the company is operating out of a 900-square-foot facility in St. Pete with a Mill City Roasters MCR-10 machine named Minnie Pearl, a reference to The Dead Milkmen song “Punk Rock Girl”

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Look Alive Coffee Founder Kelly Packard at the 10-kilo Mill City Roasters machine.

“We knew we wanted Look Alive to be a fresh, youthful and edgy brand that made people feel inspired and, dare I say, ‘alive’ when they came across it,” Packard recently told Daily Coffee News. “The name is also a call to action. It’s a wake-up call, a fresh chance to start anew. It’s about believing in better, and shaking things up.”

Packard and business partner Mikey Pritchard both come to Look Alive with service industry experience. Packard’s experience has largely been in bartending and restaurants, while her primary occupation as a designer has benefitted the new brand, and vice versa.

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“When we founded Look Alive, I was able to have full creative freedom creating our branding, merch and website, which was really everything a designer could ask for,” said Packard. “We needed to find a way to do our own thing. We scraped together what we could, did most of the buildout ourselves, designed everything on our own and brought this beast to life.”

Prior to the installation of Minnie Pearl, the pair traveled to Minneapolis to train at the Mill City Roasters facility in April 2023. As of last month, Look Alive has launched its first two, three single-origin coffees and one decaf offering. More coffees will be worked into the lineup on a seasonal basis. 

Look Alive Coffee St Pete roasters

“We want to offer approachable specialty coffee for the everyday drinker via our blends,” said Packard, “but we are most interested in highlighting innovative producers who are doing non-traditional processing methods like anaerobics, fermentation, co-fermentation, and carbonic maceration.” 

While the brand looks to build online sales and its wholesale roasting business, local customers are welcome to pick up orders during two-hour time slots twice per week at the roastery, at which time they can also sample something freshly brewed.

Look Alive Coffee St Pete espresso

“We don’t have a storefront, so the pickup windows are a great opportunity to connect with customers,” said Packard. “For now we are laser focused on being a roaster and supporting our wholesale partners. One day soon we will grow into doing pop-up coffee service at our space, and then down the line we’d love to open a shop. There is something to be said for measured growth.”

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