Laura Tetley, Tammy Behm and Laura Caldie are bringing Maypop Coffee & Garden Shop to Webster Groves this May.
Anyone who gardens knows how much coffee grounds benefit certain types of plants. However, three local entrepreneurs are taking that idea to a whole new level with their forthcoming concept, Maypop Coffee & Garden Shop (803 Marshall Avenue, Webster Groves)
Maypop is the brainchild of Tammy Behm, with the help of collaborators Laura Tetley and Laura Caldie. The three women met working in an area garden center and would often dream about what they would be able to create if they had a business of their own.
A longtime Webster Groves resident, Behm had always wanted to find a way to create a community space that would serve as a nexus for vibrant, healthy living. At an international gardening conference held in Paris last year, Behm listened as many of her fellow attendees talked about the success they'd had marrying their garden centers with coffee shops and cafes. When she returned home, she decided that would be the route she would take for her own business and got to work sketching out her vision with Tetley and Caldie.
Their vision involves a combination garden center and coffee shop that will focus on environmental sustainability and native plants. Named after a colloquial term for the native passion flower vine, Maypop will sell houseplants, edibles, annuals, perennials, shrubs, trees, garden supplies and pottery. Additionally, Maypop will offer regular workshops and education seminars for those looking to expand their knowledge of gardening and plants.
Maypop will offer both a garden center and coffee shop experience.
The coffeehouse portion of Maypop will be located inside the large, three-story brick house at 803 Marshall Avenue and continues the theme of ecological sustainability. Maypop has partnered with Blueprint Coffee, a local roaster known for its commitment to sourcing environmentally-friendly coffee, and the local tea company Big Heart Tea.
"Both Blueprint and Big Heart Tea are interested in soil and ecosystem health," Caldie explains. "Since we care so much about creating a healthy ecosystem, it made sense with our messaging that the food and drink we are selling be well-integrated into that."
Behm, Tetley and Caldie are converting the house's old residential kitchen into a commercial one, but, at least for now, the small space prevents them from doing a major food service operation. Expect a selection of baked goods and simple cafe fare, at least in the beginning. As Caldie explains, they are exploring the idea of partnering with local vendors to provide a more expanded menu, though they have not yet determined what that will look like.
One type of collaboration they have thought through are partnerships with local chefs and artisans for tasting events and education programs. "We have a lot of ideas in the works for different projects and opportunities for people to learn from experts," Caldie explains. "For example, we would have an event that teaches you all of the different ways you can prepare heirloom tomatoes during season."
Caldie emphasizes that the goal is to create a welcoming, cozy environment that integrates the coffeeshop and garden center elements. Their goal is for a May opening though an exact date has yet to be determined.
In the meantime, Behm, Caldie and Tetley are looking forward to bringing a concept to life that will nourish both the soil and the heart. Says Caldie, "It's what we are able to freely create what we want to see in a garden store."
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