The thrill of the build is back, baby! And we’re beyond the beyond excited to kick off the 2023 Build-Outs of Coffee in the city of Dallas, Texas. We’re looking forward to bringing you incredible Build-Outs all summer long, as is beloved tradition here at Sprudge. So why wait? Why ask why!?? Let’s dig in. Let’s build!
As told to Sprudge by Noah Irby.
For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?
We’re a small coffee company that’s been around for four years now. My best bud Trevin Willison and myself met working in coffee in the Dallas area, and being unhappy with the culture surrounding the industry within our city, we worked to start a multi-roaster mobile coffee service in an old VW bus, popping up in the Bishop Arts area on the weekends while still working our other jobs. We now have two shops—one in Oak Cliff that has become a community staple since we opened it right before COVID in 2020, and now a new one that we just opened up in the Design District! The first cafe was basically us pulling everything we could muster together to finally open up a small neighborhood shop like we always wanted to, but the new cafe has allowed us to truly create our dream buildout thanks to more energy, time, resources, and experience. Our focus is on building a company based on community and quality, and connecting folks through coffee—giving them something to be a part of, no matter who they are or where they’re from. It’s been a wild ride so far and we’re incredibly grateful.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
Think open lofty ceilings, plenty of plants and western/Americana art collected from all over, skylights and windows that let natural light flood in everywhere, a large middle bar that functions just as beautiful as it looks, and a very clean, airy, and bright space in general to hang out or relax in. Some other cafe inspirations include Sey, Barista Parlor, Passenger, La Cabra, Sweet Bloom, Makeworth, and more. We truly put our all into this space and hope to have created the best shop in Dallas. We have always worked in coffee and wanted our city to have a space like this—we’re incredibly proud and excited after all the hard work that’s been put into it.
What’s your approach to coffee?
We approach coffee as something that can be so simple yet is so complex by nature. Our ultimate goal is serving only the best and upholding high standards, but all while maintaining approachability and staying down to earth. We want anyone to be able to walk in and find something they can enjoy. Our coffee program is anchored by our main roaster partner, Cat & Cloud—we appreciate them as a company so much and love everything they stand for. Other wonderful roasters we’ve worked with and served in our cafes before include La Cabra, Proud Mary, Fjord, Obadiah, Junto, Sweet Bloom, Edison, and others. We serve a classic full espresso and filter menu with all your usual standards, as well as some creative seasonal specialty drinks we roll out every few months.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
Our heart and soul of the new cafe is our custom jet black Strada AV from La Marzocco. We’ve always loved working with LM machines (used a GS3 in the VW bus, and have a Linea PB that’s already gotten us through a few years of service at our Oak Cliff shop) and the Strada is truly a dream to use on the daily. It does everything seamlessly with power and reliability, and looks good while doing it. We’ve also always enjoyed using the Nuova Simonelli and Victoria Arduino Mythos grinders for ‘spro, as well as the Mahlkönig EK43 for batch and pour-overs (of course). We only use Slow Pour Supply WPM pitchers, Saint Anthony tamps and distribution tools, and we’re big Kalita 185 fans. All of our ceramics are from NotNeutral, because they’re the best. You also can’t forget—anything from Acaia or Fellow, we’ll use.
How is your project considering sustainability?
Aside from the standard practices including recycling, encouraging folks to bring in personal reusable cups, and doing our best to not waste wherever we can, our overall view on sustainability is that as a small company, we will do everything we can that is within our power to help. In a different sense of the word though, we do value creating sustainable jobs and opportunities for folks on our team as high as possible, and have done our best to keep people around and give them growth as we can, in ways that work for them on individual levels. Your team is your backbone, and without them doing well, your business will not do well either. A sustainable business values its people first, and shows it through actions.
What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?
We just opened up our new cafe in the Design District on May 6th, 2023! It’s been a steady and truly enjoyable first few weeks so far. Again, we’re so thankful for the support of our community here in Dallas.
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
Yes! Trevin and I finished out the bar itself ourselves, with the design and general handiwork help of his dad, Saxton. Other good friends who helped with the buildout in different ways include Josh Duncan, Aiyana McKenzie, Will Resendiz, Sam Lapish, Weston Combs, and Garrett Golightly (who also just so happened to design our main Wayward lettering logo). My amazing wife, Caroline, was there night in and night out during the whole process helping with random things and cleaning the whole space before we opened. Colbie Coleman, our coffee director, helped get things all ready and dialed in coffee-wise the moment we got our equipment set up. Oasis Plant Shop decked out our space with so many plants that fit the space perfectly. Brennen Bechtol painted our window signage and it turned out so well. Our good friend Miller Matlock designed and painted the beautiful mural on one of the walls that lots of folks have already seen or shared photos of. Nylo Wool helped curate a good amount of the art hanging all over the space – they also have a sweet vintage store in the Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas. There are so many good friends, other small businesses, and talented creatives who have helped us along the way that there is probably no way to remember or properly mention them all. Again, we pride ourselves in being very present and involved in how we’ve built out our shops, but we could not have done any of it without the help of so many people.