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Scout Opens Huge Central Coast Cafe, Bakery and HoneyCo Roastery

Scout Coffee CA cafe bar

Inside the new Scout Coffee and HoneyCo Coffee Roasters flagship in Morro Bay, California. All images courtesy of Scout Coffee.

More then a decade of local coffee business reconnaissance has led to the opening of Scout Coffee‘s flagship cafe and bakery along California’s Central Coast. 

Occupying two stories and more than 6,000 square feet in Morro Bay in San Luis Obispo County, the new location is also the new home of Scout’s sibling brand, HoneyCo Coffee Roasters, as well as a bakery. 

croissant Scout Coffee

In renovating a former dreary Bank of America building for the project, Scout and HoneyCo Co-Founders Sara and Jon Peterson added as much light as possible, building in new windows. Colors and materials such as tan and white tiles, natural wood and green cabinets were selected to recall the surrounding area’s dunes, vegetation and ocean sky. 

“We wanted to create an inspiring space that felt happy, yet soulful and visually interesting,” Sara Peterson told Daily Coffee News. “We always like to have a mix of industrial and homey, natural and textured, and the overall feel and color palette is inspired by the coast.”

Scout Coffee CA inside

The neutral colors also drive attention to the bar, where Mahlkönig E80 GBW grinders are paired with a 3-group La Marzocco PB AV espresso machine. Marco SP9 pourover modules keep single cup brews consistent, while batches of drip coffee and various flavors of slushy beverages are made on Fetco equipment.

Sara Peterson said the Scout Coffee Slushy “tastes just like melted coffee ice cream.” The drink is part of a people-pleasing menu of drinks that’s set to expand over time. 

“Accessibility was a huge motivator for our entire business,” Peterson said. “When we started Scout, we were really making a stand to serve great coffee in a way that put service first, and that included how we would roast and sell our coffee, as well.”

Scout Coffee CA cafe

A 35-kilo Loring Kestrel roaster is on display through glazed glass. Peterson said they hope the transparency of the new shop helps drive home the bond between the roasting and retail brands.

“You can grab a coffee in the cafe at Scout, but pick up a bag of beans and see that it’s roasted right here,” said Peterson. “There’s intent and craft to all that we do, and we want the design of the space to make you feel that.”

In an adjoining space, customer might also see bags of Central Milling flour on a dunnage rack outside the approximately 2,000-square-foot bakery, which turns out both sweet and savory baked goods. The new facility has also opened the door to laminated pastry. 

Scout Coffee bakery CA

“We’ve always baked from scratch but never had the space to do croissant,” said Peterson.

In addition to hundreds of items made fresh for daily delivery to all Scout cafes, house ciabatta and focaccia are also used for fresh and grab-and-go sandwiches in the cafe.

Hot breakfast plates are coming soon for diners, with seating either at a “thick and chunky” community table, along a window counter, at four-top sandblasted marble tables or on a caramel-colored leather banquette behind oak-surfaced two-top tables.

The Petersons, both alums of Santa Cruz-based Verve Coffee Roasters opened their first Scout coffee shop in January 2014. HoneyCo Coffee Roasters launched exactly one year later. 

Scout Coffee CA HoneyCo Roaster

“We were very early in realizing how polarizing specialty coffee was becoming for consumers back in 2014, and developed our coffees served on drip at Scout to fit a middle ground,” said Peterson. “These blends have been very successful for us, both in stores and online, and while it won’t be the perfect coffee for someone who wants something on either extreme edge of the spectrum, the majority of our customers really seem to recognize our blends as surprisingly sweet, clean, with nice acidity while staying very drinkable and still tasting ‘like coffee.'”

In January of 2016 came the second cafe, which housed a bakery to serve both shops and to ease the long lines consistently forming at the first bar. A licensed Scout Coffee location also operates on the Cal Poly campus.

With the newest and biggest Scout shop freshly open, Peterson said the short-term focus will be on refining operations, while the company maintains a broader focus on helping bring more high-quality specialty coffee to more people. 

Scout Coffee CA Morro

“We’d love to expand more online, and find ways to offer the Scout experience to those who can’t make it out to the coast,” said Peterson. “We are also looking for ways to help others along the business journey, not that we have it all figured out, but what we have learned thus far, we’d love to pass along.”

Scout Coffee is located at 390 Morro Bay Blvd. in Morro Bay. Tell DCN’s editors about your new coffee shop or roastery here.