Mission Coffee Co. Opens in The Short North
As the Short North continues to grow with new apartments, new shoppers and new visitors, the number of places to recharge with a jolt of caffeine also continues to increase. Mission Coffee Co is the latest cafe to open in the neighborhood, located near the corner of High Street and Price Avenue, behind The Rossi.
We spoke recently with Jonathan Starr, co-owner of Mission, who along with Jared Williamson and Joe Capatosto have opened this new space just a few weeks ago. Our Q&A with Johnathan can be found below:
Q: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background as it relates to coffee?
A: I would say my background in specialty coffee really began back in 2007 in Nashville — that’s when I really got serious about coffee. Starting off as a home roaster and espresso enthusiast, my initial intentions were to experiment with quality coffee and more specifically how coffee translated as espresso, and adopt the coffee experience I had seen in Chicago, New York and the West Coast to my home bar. Coffee is such a technical world where mere grams and degrees of variance produce massive changes in cup quality. This aspect of the coffee world was a wonderland for experimentation and taste, and I was quite enamored by the whole process. Coffee is such a sensory experience, and once you experience that for the first time, most people are hooked. All of my attention became absorbed by this small seed. This pit of a cherry seemed to impact so many people on such a global and personal scale. As the obsession grew, so did my collection of equipment, brewers, espresso machines and small home-batch roasters. I had always entertained the idea of opening a roastery and brew bar, and toward the end of 2007 began planning what qualities, characteristics and aesthetics I would love to see in a small independent cafe. Upon moving back to Columbus in late 2008, I met my two business partners Jared and Joe through some connections in the coffee industry, both with their own personal and professional resumes in coffee.In 2011 we found the location that we felt was perfect for what we were trying to do.
Q: So Mission is both a roastery and a cafe?
A: Mission is a specialty cafe with an emphasis on quality coffees and traditional brew methods from across the US. We’re a bit obsessed with how coffees translate across a variety of brew methods. The same coffee can take on a number of taste profiles just in how it’s brewed. In Columbus as well as other cities, we’ve experienced a lot of coffee and have seen how everyone does it differently. How they brew, their technique, their ratios, their presentation and most importantly their coffees. At the end of the day it’s what’s in the cup that matters most. We’ve experienced some phenomenal coffees and through that realized what we wanted to showcase: a kaleidoscope of superb coffees sourced from all across the United States. Although we have a background in roasting and plans for it in the future, we’ve decided to postpone the roastery until a later date. We feel that our primary role is to produce delicious hand crafted coffee beverages for the people, sourcing stellar coffees with top notch ingredients, including organic and local products and dairy.
Q: So what drew you to opening in that unique garage space on Price Avenue?
A: I saw the garage for the first time back in 2004 during a Christmas gallery hop. I sort of made a mental note that if i ever had the opportunity to open a cafe in the future this would be the place I would open it. It’s a very open space, a bit modern-industrial, slightly San-Fran in nature, with a lot of natural and reclaimed wood and polished concrete, exposed ducts, concrete floors and of course a large glass garage door that we keep open when the temperature is right. It took some work, but we wanted to create an environment that was warm, welcoming, open and free. A place to share ideas and experience great coffee.
Q: What do you think of the blossoming coffee roastery scene here in Central Ohio?
A: The Columbus coffee scene is exploding, and there couldn’t be a better time to be a part of it. In the past few years alone a number of places have arrived on the scene all bringing an awesome perspective to specialty coffee. We’re just one of them. I always encourage people to get out there and experience how everyone does it differently and to taste their coffees. There are many wonderful cafes across Columbus as well as wonderful people behind them. The coffee community is continually growing and we’ve had such a warm welcome from the professional community as well as the customers we’re here to serve and get to know. We’re certainly the new kid in town, but we’re excited to play our part and meet all of the wonderful people that make this culture what it is.
More information can be found online at www.missioncoffeeco.com.