Kick it up – Coffee bar comes to Kirkwood
By: Lauren Ragland
The vision: simple. The execution: not so much.
Building a business from the ground up is never a seamless undertaking, but one local entrepreneur had a little help from his friends. Thanks to a crowdsourced fundraising drive, Jonathan Pascual’s dream of filling Kirkwood’s coffee desert will soon become reality.
Taproom Coffee, a coffee bar that will also serve craft beer, is scheduled to open at the end of April in Kirkwood Station.
Pascual said he raised the money quickly using Kickstarter. The pledge goal was $15,000, and that was followed by a stretch goal of $20,000, which has also been funded.
“We were fully funded within the first seven days,” he said. “It took less than twenty-four hours to be 50 percent.”
Coffee has a special significance to Pascual. His wife, Sarah, said, “One of the first ways Jonathan tried to woo me was with really good coffee. I had been living in Egypt studying Arabic. He was in Georgia and mailed me a French press and a bag of delicious (coffee) beans.”
After Pascual earned his barista chops at Starbucks, he opened and managed independent coffee shops for Chattahoochee Coffee Company and Land of a Thousand Hills. He also helped to set up the coffee bar at Empire State South.
Pascual dream was to open his own coffee shop someday. It wasn’t until he became a stay-at-home dad that he realized it’s never a perfect time to start a business. Why not now?
In between tending to four young children, Pascual was attending latte art competitions at Octane. He observed that the same people who made and drank specialty coffee were making and drinking craft beers. There was a natural relationship between the two. The idea for Taproom was born.
This coffee-slash-beer bar will be more than a place to grab a beverage. Pascual says it will serve as a modern-day meeting hall. He described Taproom’s main objective as a “central location where we facilitate the connections between people.”
It will be a spot to meet old friends, new friends and get your education on. After grabbing a pint, customers can participate in workshops on an array of topics like organic farming, bike culture, composting and barista art.
Taproom will also serve food from local restaurants and bakeries, such as Mae’s in Buckhead. Counter Culture is supplying the coffee and local breweries will be supplying half of the dozen taps.
Soon Kirkwood will be home to a community-minded coffee shop, funded by the community that helped bring Pascual’s caffeinated dreams to life.