A popular East End coffee shop has big moves planned for 2020. Giant Leap Coffee will open two new locations next year: one in Uptown Park and another at The Plant, the redeveloped industrial site in the East End that's home to recently opened wine bar How To Survive on Land and Sea.
Since opening in the East End in early 2018, Giant Leap has built a devoted following for its space-themed interior and coffees made with beans sourced from local firm Amaya Roasting Company. Currently tucked into a tidy 650 square feet on Canal Street, Giant Leap's new location at The Plant will constitute 3,200 square feet, which will give it enough room to add a kitchen that will serve a full food menu.
The Uptown Park location will be considerably smaller and will be located in a newly constructed building between two of the developments promenades. As co-founder Lauren Ferrante notes in a video posted to Instagram about the coffee shop's plans, she and business partner Logan Beck aren't concerned about the presence of a nearby Starbucks. Instead, they're intrigued by opening in an area that lacks a locally-owned, third wave coffee shop.
"We view it as a bunch of potential customers waiting to taste something better," she says in the clip.
Both locations will be designed by Rootlab, a design firm that Beck also helped found. They'll feature the same retro-future design that's helped make the original location a hit. If all goes according to plan, Uptown Park will open in the spring and The Plant will follow in the summer.
On the food side, Giant Leap has partnered with Tlahuac to develop a menu of sweet and savory items that will be prepared at The Plant and sold at both locations. Currently a pop-up, Tlahuac features the culinary talents of chef Nicholas Vera and pastry chef Stephanie Velasquez, two Hugo Ortega veterans who have been generating serious buzz for their authentic flavors.
To fund this growth, Giant Leap is seeking to raise between $200,000 and $250,000 via the NextSeed crowdfunding platform. In adding to recouping their investment plus interest, contributors can earn rewards such as a comic book, an invitation to a tasting class, and a "black card" that will grant discounts on food, drinks, and merchandise.
Adding Giant Leap is part of real estate developer EDENS transformation of the the property, which also includes additions such as Flower Child, Merus Grill, and a still-unnamed restaurant from H-Town Restaurant Group (Hugo's, Caracol, etc). An Uptown Park representative provided CultureMap with the following statement about adding the coffee shop to its mix:
"EDENS continues to partner with locally owned retail partners that bring their distinctive personalities to our premier retail places. Giant Leap Coffee will be an exciting complement to the many new retailers and restaurants at our newly reimagined Uptown Park."