The abundance of red brick walls inside the new Ozark Coffee Company and Roastery cafe in downtown Sedalia, Missouri, might seem like an ideal backdrop for stand-up comedy, all the way down to a spotlight-reminiscent circular Ozark logo painted on one wall. Yet the quality of the coffee roasting operation there is no joke.
Ozark soft-opened inside the new 2,000-square-foot location late last month. The transition represented a substantial upgrade from a previous space of roughly 450 square feet. Production on Ozark’s Probat P12/2 roaster can now increase, as will opportunities for quality control and storage of green coffees sourced with help from Anthem Coffee Imports and the consultancy Brewed Behavior.
The five-year-old company is also ready to serve a wider swath of the local community with its larger kitchen, bar and seating area. Between the brick walls and beneath exposed wooden rafters, the classic coffee shop interior maintains a sense of warmth and familiarity with more wooden surfaces and a handsomely dark-stained bar.
Patrons can pull up a stool and take in the spectacle of the roastery from counter seating along a wide viewing window at one end of the shop. After ordering off the colorful chalkboard menu, others can settle at a table or else relax in a 90s-esque corner furnished with overstuffed couches, from which a superfan of “Friends” might enjoy the greenish vertical pillars that are eerily reminiscent of those inside the iconic sitcom coffeehouse Central Perk.
Equipment on the bar, however, is rooted firmly in the now. A Kees van der Westen Triplet espresso machine turns out drinks ground by a Mahlkonig K30 Twin grinder, while Fetco batch brewers are paired with a Mahlkonig Guatemala.
“We do have a good following for specialty coffee, but feel like we are also paving the way,” Ozark Owner Justin Koehn told Daily Coffee News of the challenges in growing a quality-focused coffee business in Sedalia.
With its newly expanded resources of space and equipment, Ozark intends to continue blazing that trail. Koehn said that with the new shop up and running, the new plan is, “just to get things running smooth here, and especially expand our wholesale.”
Ozark Coffee Company and Roastery is open now at 610 S. Ohio Ave in Sedalia.
Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.