In Gainesville, Opus Coffee’s Sixth Shop is its First Outside HospitalsFFOL Editor 1
Opus Coffee has never been healthier. The Gainesville, Florida, roasting and retail company has opened its sixth coffee shop this week, marking its first location outside of a University of Florida Health medical facility.
A Slayer Steam LP espresso machine not only anchors the service counter of the new 1,000-square-foot shop in Gainesville’s Innovation District, but also inspires an extensive Slayer-themed drinks menu, with playfully named items ranging from the Dragon Slayer and Vampire Slayer to the Christian Slayter and A.C. Slayter.
The slaughter is all in good fun, of course, as the actual focus of Opus Coffee remains unchanged — that is simply to bring energy and joy into the lives of its customers whether they need a little help or are working to provide it.
“Our mission statement shows how serving those in need and fueling those that save lives are the core to our business,” Opus Coffee Co-Owner Bret Larson told Daily Coffee News. “We got our start in 2002 by opening a retail store [in a UF Health hospital]. We’ve earned the opportunity to continue and expand that relationship for 17 years.”
Coffees for all Opus shops and wholesale customers are roasted on a 15-kilo-capacity Ambex machine at the company’s 2,100-square-foot production facility. That includes the beans that will pass through the hoppers on Mahlkönig Guatemala for batch brews and a pair of Mazzer Major-E grinders on their way into the new shop’s star Slayer.
Larson, who co-owns the business with his brother Tim Larson, said that as older Opus cafes gradually retire their aging equipment, all replacement espresso machines will be Slayers. All future shops will also featuring Slayer equipment, including another location slated for opening later this year.
In contrast to the modern design of the Innovation District shop — with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, 50 seats inside and more outdoors — the next to open will be compact and retro, fitted inside a renovated 1976 Airstream trailer parked at Gainesville’s 4th Ave. Food Park.
Said Bret Larson, “Customers will be able to walk in and check out its vintage character, which will consist of a record player, 1970s uniforms, 1970s themed logos, et cetera.”
Larson further added that Opus will also soon be looking to increase its capacity both in the roastery and in cold brew production, in order to “further dominate the Gainesville market.”
Opus Coffee Innovation District is now open at 800 SW 2nd Ave in Gainesville, Florida.
Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.