Lekko Coffee to take over former Foyer space in Ohio City.
Last year, the co-working space the Beauty Shoppe and its accompanying café Foyer, both located at the Seymour Building in Ohio City, closed. And while the co-working side of the space will not be returning, the café has a new operator. Matt and Laura Ashton are planning to open Lekko Coffee
(2529 Detroit Ave., 216-554-4875) next Thursday.
“I’ve been knocking on the door since last November, and I’ve been in the space since March,” says Matt.
He and his wife were attracted to the bright, contemporary space primarily because of its location, which is surrounded by plenty of new residential developments with more coming online every day.
“All these people are right in the demographic of people who go out for specialty third wave coffee," he explains.
In terms of experience, Matt “has done it all” while working at places like Solstice Coffee Roasters, Rising Star Coffee Roasters and Passenger’s Café. Those jobs helped support his true vocation as a classical musician.
“Coffee was the day job to the night job playing French horn,” he says.
He eventually expanded into home roasting by taking classes, reading books and getting started on his own equipment. Those beans will be transformed into standard coffee drinks like drip and pour-over coffee, espresso, cortado, latte, cappuccino, cold-brew and iced coffee. Those will be joined by seasonal specialty drinks like pumpkin-spiced coffee flavored with house-made syrups.
Food partners will supply the shop with quick breakfast items, protein muffins and pastries. The owners hope to add lunch items down the road.
Beer drinkers also will begin to see the Lekko name at area breweries like Forest City Brewery, Bottlehouse Brewery and Noble Beast, which will soon debut products like Lekko Coffee Stout, Lekko-based cocktails and Coffee Milk Stout, respectively.
Ashton adds that his company goes out of its way to source beans in a responsible, equitable manner.
“One of the first things we did was create the name, a mission statement and core values,” he says. “Our first core value is demonstrating that treating people right is best practice. We believe in making sure that everybody is taken care of across the supply chain,” from the farmers to the employees.
Ashton, like many of his third wave coffee brethren, hopes to elevate Cleveland’s coffee cred, which still is well below that of other nearby cities.
“I don’t think we are thought of for it,” Matt reports. “I think that even if we do have some really great coffee here, we aren’t necessarily projecting that out to the rest of the country. Our restaurant scene is really blowing up and showing off to the rest of the country recently but coffee we’re not taking about yet. We’d like to make it so.”
For those unfamiliar with the area, there is free parking in lots behind and across the street as well as free on-street parking.