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With Donuts, Take Two Coffee Doubles the Joy in Fort Myers

Take Two Coffee donuts Fort Myers FL owners

Take Two Coffee Founders Caleb MacPherson (left) and Hunter Keslar. All images courtesy of Take Two Coffee.

Now offering dual delights in Southwest Florida is Take Two Coffee, a specialty coffee roasting and baking company founded by a pair of influential coffee pros.

Caleb MacPherson and Hunter Keslar, both previously of Naples-based Narrative Coffee Roasters, launched Take Two Coffee as a wholesale roaster in 2023. Last month they opened the first Take Two cafe, offering a high-end take on the classic combination of donuts and coffee from inside a historic building in central Fort Myers.

Take Two Coffee donuts Florida 1

Keeping the menu, the space and the joys simple, the Take Two concept reflects MacPherson’s new embrace of a “less is more” philosophy. MacPherson founded the Narrative roastery in 2017 then opened its elaborate first cafe in 2020.

“We’re rockin’ a super small setup,” MacPherson said of Take Two. “With Narrative, at the time, we definitely bought hook-line-and-sinker into big build outs, huge equipment, and this go-around we really want to focus on simplicity, on taking care of the customer.”

Take Two’s cafe occupies approximately 2,200 square feet towards the back of a 7,200-square-foot venue called The Commons, which was once a studio for renowned American artist Marcus Jensen. Take Two opted to preserve streaks of paint on the building’s 100-year-old concrete floors.

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“With stuff like that, we were like, ‘man, we just don’t want to change that,'” said MacPherson. “This is a beautiful historic building. It looks so great as it is. We didn’t want to come into this community and assume that we wanted to do it ‘our way’ and put some crazy buildout into it. We just kept it very simple.”

With potted plants and floating shelves against white walls and a U-shaped maple-topped bar built by Hunter Keslar, Take Two makes hot drinks through a single-group La Marzocco GS3 espresso machine and a single-group Fetco batch brewer, each paired with Mahlkönig grinders.

Still and nitro cold brews served on tap come from 45-gallon batches made in a backroom using what MacPherson described as the sole exception to the shop’s minimalist equipment approach: a Brew Bomb cold brew system.

“That was our one big splurge on equipment, but wholesale is still a big part of our company and cold brew is one of those lanes that we happen to go through a lot,” said MacPherson. “In the long run it was a no-brainer for us.”

Take Two Coffee donuts Fort Myers FL roasters

MacPherson roasts green coffees purchased through longstanding contacts at Balzac Brothers on a Probat P12 roaster owned by another friend, while a Diedrich IR-24 machine constitutes this summer’s fixer-upper project.

Once that’s up and running, Take Two plans to expand its wholesale operation while hiring additional bakery staff. The current focus is on donuts, with new recipes recently dialed in by MacPherson.

“The big impetus was that we needed some kind of in-house food, just from a business perspective. I think the ‘just straight coffee’ model is dying unless you’re in a super high-volume area,” said MacPherson. “From a labor perspective, a full kitchen is a big deal. I had messed with donuts a little bit here and there and then we decided, ‘you know what, let’s go all in.’ Everybody loves donuts — Croissants I’m too stupid to understand, but donuts, I could figure that out.”

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One example of a Take Two donut is the Florida Man, a Boston Cream-like confection filled with orange curd and topped with vanilla glaze and grated citrus rind.

“I made thousands of donuts that sucked before we got to the ones that were great,” said MacPherson. “Even now it’s still work in progress. Each week I still learn something new.”

Take Two Coffee is located at 2633 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Fort Myers. Tell DCN’s editors about your new coffee shop or roastery here. 

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