Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Take Care by Oleo Offers a Warm Welcome in Kansas CityDaily Coffee News by Roast Magazine


Take Care by Oleo Coffee Kansas City 1

The new Take Care by Oleo coffee bar and bakery in Kansas City, Missouri. All images courtesy of Oleo Coffee.

Inside a well-worn coffee space in Kansas City, Missouri, is the first public retail expression of roasting company Oleo Coffee.

Located in the Crossroads district space formerly occupied by Kansas City coffee company Thou Mayest Coffee Roasters, the new coffee shop and bakery called Take Care by Oleo envelopes guests in the comfort of things well-wrought and long-lasting.

Take Care by Oleo Coffee Kansas City owner

Take Care by Oleo Co-Founder Christopher Oppenhuis.

Exposed wooden rafters, brick walls, wood floors and bits of antique Americana are warmed by the sights and smells of fresh coffee drinks alongside biscuits, scones and other baked goods from the on-site bakery. 

“We’re trying to create a bigger picture experience for the customer by putting together really great products, experiences and nice, intentional spaces,” Oleo Co-Founder Christopher Oppenhuis, who runs both the bakery and roastery, told Daily Coffee News. “We’re trying to do something very Midwestern, very approachable and blue collar. Personally, I love old things that were made well. I love old wood. I love things that have patina on them — things that tell a story.”

Take Care by Oleo Coffee Kansas City bar

Seeking to provide satisfaction on both sides of the counter, Take Care has opened with a no-tipping model of compensation for staff.

“We don’t call it a living wage; we just call it a consistent wage,” Oppenhuis said. “If you work 30 hours, you know what you’re gonna get paid. It’s not going to be an ‘x’ variable on your paycheck.”

Take Care by Oleo Coffee Kansas City merch

Baristas on the Take Care payroll expertly navigate a first-generation Synesso Cyncra espresso machine. Meanwhile, a Mahlkönig E65S GBW machine and Puqpress automatic tamper were selected in part for their automation-driven efficiency, giving baristas more time to interact with guests. 

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“Talking about our coffees, talking about the bakery items, or just what the brand is about in the bigger picture, that’s what their job really is,” said Oppenhuis. “We can make great coffee, but our biggest emphasis is just trying to be nice to people, because that’s a way more memorable experience than what was in the cup.”

Take Care by Oleo Coffee Kansas City bakery

Oppenhuis, a coffee industry veteran of more than 16 years, and fellow Oleo Co-Owner Mark Sappington, a former professional baseball player, first met at Thou Mayest, where both men worked. 

In 2019, the two moved on to co-found Marcell Coffee, which continues to operate as a wholesale-focused roasting company, offering customized specialty coffee blends and flexible branding solutions. 

Take Care by Oleo Coffee Kansas City seating

“We’re removing Marcell as a brand entirely and just trying to operate as a service, because that service doesn’t really exist in specialty the way it does in commodity,” Oppenhuis said of Marcell. “It’s not too different from roasting for a [company like] Costco. It’s just that the actual coffee that we’re buying is much higher quality and in turn we’re paying more for it… We might never be a million-pound-per-year company, but we can get to a couple hundred thousand, and that’s a good staff with a good payroll getting taken care of.”

The Marcell roastery, where Oleo’s production takes place, includes a Diedrich IR-12 machine for production roasts, and a 500-gram Mill City Roasters machine and 100-gram Ikawa machine for sample roasts. 

Marcell roastery

At the Marcell coffee roastery.

Selling directly to consumers in-store or online, Oleo is able to offer different single-origin or single-farm coffees that might not have otherwise been purchased by Marcell. 

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“Marcell relies on extreme consistency,” said Oppenhuis. “When we’re traveling to these countries and dealing with producers, there’s a lot of coffees that we end up leaving on the cupping table because we might not have the right customer for it. And now with our own retail identity, we can buy both of those types of coffees, and have different places for them.”

Take Care by Oleo Coffee Kansas City cookies

Cookies at Take Care


Take Care by Oleo is located at 419 E 18th St, Kansas City, Missouri. Tell DCN’s editors about your new coffee shop or roastery here





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