It’s time to fill up your cup. The Coffee Ethic in Springfield, Missouri, has pulled back the layers of construction tarp, revealing a fresh-faced interior with more seating.
Since late November, the coffee shop has been operating to-go-only services after an equipment malfunction led to a fire. Owner Michelle Billionis used the unfortunate circumstance as motivation to renovate and rebrand The Coffee Ethic.
The revamped interior isn’t all that’s new at the 14-year-old downtown business, though. Billionis worked with Anna Saunders, well-known as private chef Anna, to create a nutrient-dense food menu.
“The main goal with the menu is to provide high-quality, unique but approachable options, being health-forward while working seasonally and sourcing some ingredients from local businesses,” explains Saunders. “When I think of The Coffee Ethic, I think of quality, precision and community. I wanted to replicate that in the menu options.”
“We wanted some flexibility with the recipes so we could accommodate vegan and gluten-free diets, and she blew us away,” adds Billionis.
Although they plan to reveal more dishes in the coming months, they are already serving up hot and chilled oatmeals with unassuming ingredients that kitchen staffers Katie Kirkpatrick and Skye Palmer plate to perfection. The tahini-chocolate overnight oats is a standout vegan offering. The tahini riffs off the classic peanut butter and oats combination but offers an earthier, stronger flavor balanced by the sweetness of chocolate, banana and date syrup. One of the hot oatmeals made with oat milk comes with whipped hazelnut butter served in a fluffy scoop.
According to Billionis, a housemade pesto on the egg toast will be available in less than a month. Saunders came up with the original recipe years ago, and she recreated it to fit The Coffee Ethic brand. “I love the layered toast because it has my favorite ingredients: eggs and avocados,” says Billionis, “and the pesto is outstanding.”
Soon to follow will be a carrot hummus platter. It doesn’t feature any chickpeas, but according to Saunders, it’s “so creamy you’ll want to eat it by the spoonful.” Personally, we’re already sold.
The Coffee Ethic’s second seasonal drink menu – a collaborative effort between multiple staffers – debuted at the same time as the reopening. Most of the included beverages are ideal for mid-morning or afternoon sipping. Perfect for the patio, the coffee float features oat milk ice cream made by the shop’s downtown neighbor, Sweet Emotion.
The menu also highlights two beverages sans coffee. In the Peach Bum, there are multiple flavors at play, including peach purée, hibiscus tea, honey, rosemary and ginger beer. The Acid League Shrub, on the other hand, doesn’t have coffee or tea as the base; instead, it combines strawberry rosé vinegar, agave, beet juice, sparkling water and sage.
Billionis consulted with designer Shailey Murphy for guidance with interior decisions and Jesse Tyler at All True for strategic implementation of the rebranding. Chandler Reed and Lexi Reid led the rebrand design. Although the two graphic designers now live in California, they were once regulars at The Coffee Ethic, making them familiar with the business.
The new interior’s white paint and pastel touches reflect light, but nods to the old design remain. In place of the former straight paper lantern lights that hung above the bar, they added new white lanterns with softer curves, but they were able to salvage the woodwork on the front face of the coffee shop’s bar and counter.
“Our team deserves a shout-out as they did so much of the work,” says Billionis. “I’m one lucky gal to have such a talented team. They moved a 2,400-pound roaster, hung shelves, implemented a new POS system, sanded and painted, all while having fun and encouraging one another. I love the overall peaceful, comforting feel of the space, and most of all, the addition of customers.”
The Coffee Ethic, 124 Park Central Square, Springfield, Missouri, 417.866.6645, thecoffeeethic.com