New St. Cloud Business Highlights the “Kinder” Side of Coffee Culture
ST. CLOUD -- A new St. Cloud coffee company wants to make "coffee culture" kinder and more inclusive.
Kinder Coffee Lab, located at 203 Cooper Avenue North, began roasting and shipping 12 oz. bags of whole coffee beans about six weeks ago. Guy Magno, one of Kinder’s three founders, calls the company a “COVID baby.”
“(Kinder) was really born in March,” he said. “The shutdown happened, and me and my business partners were trying to come up with something special we could do. We all had a little extra time, and so we launched Kinder.”
Kinder Coffee Lab isn’t a coffee shop, Magno explains. Magno and his partners, Ryan Schoepf and Taylor Feero, source a variety of high-quality green coffee beans from importers across the county, roast them in St. Cloud, and deliver them to local customers using a subscription-style model.
“If you know you drink one or two bags a month, then, like any other subscription-type service, you would subscribe to one or two bags a month,” Magno says. “Every month, we roast and ship it fresh, so that when you get it, it’s just a few days old.”
Right now, Kinder Coffee Lab is only shipping to local customers, but Magno says they're not opposed to expanding in the future.
As far as the company's name is concerned, Magno says Kinder Coffee Lab stuck because it captures the founders’ collective approach to coffee - and coffee culture.
“We were brainstorming things we love about coffee, and things we think coffee represents,” Magno explained. “We threw about 100 names at the wall, and we really liked something in the realm of ‘kind’ or ‘kindness.’ It sort of represents what we’re about. One of the unfortunate things about (coffee) is that people get kind of snooty about it. When people learn a little bit about it, it’s easy to turn around and look down on the people who don’t consume it the way they do. Like, ‘oh, you still drink it with cream? You put sugar in it?’ People do that all the time, and we think it’s kind of a bummer."
"So, we want to be a coffee company that pursues excellence, but we want to do it with kindness, because we want coffee to bring people together,” Magno added.
Kinder Coffee Lab will be pouring free cups of cold brew Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. outside their Cooper Avenue roastery. It will be the company’s second drive-up coffee event; Magno says the first, held earlier this summer, was a success.
“People showed up and for the most part, they didn’t even get out of their cars,” Magno said. “In the afternoon, people parked and walked up. We all stayed nice and distanced from each other. We didn’t have a mask mandate yet, so some people wore masks if that’s what made them feel comfortable. Obviously, now everyone would be in a mask.”