With Colombian Roots, Magnifico Coffee Makes Marvelous Chicago Debut
Safely distanced from the touristy hustle and bustle of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, a Colombian-family-owned coffee shop and roastery called Magnifico Coffee has opened on the city’s north side.
“Everything that we serve is our favorite,” Magnifico Coffee Co-Owner Angelica Acebedo-Frint told Daily Coffee News. “Our baked goods are the favorite things that we grew up eating when we were little in Colombia, and then also we wanted to share the beauty of our country and the culture.”
Pastries such as pan de bono and almojabana (cheese bread) are available alongside croissants, scones and other fresh snacks, while packaged treats include Colombiana and Postobon brand soft drinks, Super Ricos and Todo Rico brand chips, and more.
Acebedo-Frint’s professional designer husband Adam Frint painted a mural on one of the new shop’s walls that features native Colombian floral imagery while echoing the company’s coffee packaging designs. Among the assortment of artwork throughout the shop is a series of owl paintings from Acebedo-Frint’s grandmother. The owl motif carried through in the brand’s new coffee packaging.
“We have a lot of passions in our family. I’m a designer. I’m a creative director right now, and an actor, so storytelling is really big,” said Acebedo-Frint. “My grandmother was an artist. My mom’s an architect and an artist. So we have all kinds of things in our family and in our DNA. Our dream was to create an experience that’s deeper than just a transaction.”
Around the shop, handmade ceramics include a depiction of a chiva, the rustic passenger bus emblematic of life in rural Colombia, and a yipao, a folkoric, fully loaded Jeep Willys. Natural wood shelves accommodate art as well as retail offerings.
“Everyone contributes their talents to make it work, so even my mom hand-decorated some baskets to add a little punch of color,” Acebedo-Frint said. “We wanted it to be modern, so it’s really reflective of our aesthetic as a family, but we still want to have a little fun with our Colombian details.”
Acebedo-Frint and co-owners Ricardo Acebedo-Diaz and Marisol Acebedo Fisher have been developing the coffee shop concept for the past two years. Now open in the Avondale neighborhood — on North Milwaukee Ave between Belmont and Fullerton — the approximately 1,200-square-foot space is split 50/50 between the cafe and a roasting operation led by Acebedo-Diaz.
In view of customers, Acebedo-Diaz sends beans through a 200-gram-capacity Arc Roaster before loading production batches in a 3-kilo Mill City Roasters machine. Green coffees are sourced with an emphasis on companies that are farmer-owned, or else in close connection to farmers, with a particular focus on Colombian greens.
Thus far, coffees have come from woman-owned Colombia-focused importer Paisa Coffee, and women-lead Colombian exporter Siruma Coffee. The latter was imported through Falcon Coffees, from which Magnifico also buys coffees from elsewhere in Latin America. Nicaraguan coffee is sourced from third-generation farmer-owned owner NicaVio Coffee.
“We wanted to find partners that worked directly with the farms, or owned them, to ensure direct trade and [working with] companies who cared about the farmers,” Acebedo-Frint said. “We have worked hard during this process by exploring our Colombian family network, attending specialty coffee conventions and sampling and selecting coffee from different exporters and farms.”
In the coming months a Probat P12 machine is expected to arrive, paving the way for Magnifico’s continued production growth and wholesale expansion.
“As we are leading our company and hiring people and growing, our intention is always to lead with empathy,” said Acebedo-Frint. “But we also have very high expectations of ourselves, our coffee, our people, because we just want to be able to provide the best experience and the best coffee for our customers and our neighborhood.”
Magnifico Coffee Roasters is located at 3063 N Milwaukee Ave in Chicago. Tell DCN’s editors about your new coffee shop or roastery here.
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Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.
Source: Daily Coffee News