Custom Cup Coffee has expanded both their drink offerings and their menu, with the addition of a custom-built espresso machine and hiring Ashley Meyer, formerly of RealCuisine Catering, as their resident baker.
Co-owner Kendra Boesdorfer said customers have requested espresso drinks since the coffee shop first opened four years ago at 319 E. Monroe. “We get people asking almost every day, and I used to send them to Café Andiamo.” She and her husband, Brent, had initially held off on investing in a high-end commercial machine. She explained, “We focus so much on the roast profile of our coffee that we didn’t want to go down the road of making specialty drinks to cover up the flavor and experience of the coffee itself that we worked so hard to create in the first place.”
However, Café Andiamo closed at the end of 2018, and Three Twigs Bakery, which had been using a portion of the kitchen at Custom Cup Coffee, moved to its own location in January. The Boesdorfers saw a chance to expand their own business and were able to hire two of the former Café Andiamo employees, plus add Ashley Meyer to the staff.
“The reason we sold Three Twigs products is because they were making it in our kitchen,” said Boesdorfer, who explained they had also tried wholesaling products from Incredibly Delicious but found it challenging to have an employee available every day to go and pick up the items. “Now we can sell food that our employee makes for us,’ said Boesdorfer.
Meyer has created a menu of coffee shop classics including signature scones, muffins, cookies and a sourdough biscuit with house-made jam. “I love working with Brent and Kendra because they’re just as obsessed with good quality ingredients as I am,” said Meyer. “Right now, we’re using meat from Triple S Farms and cornmeal from Garden Gate Farms in some of our savory scones, as well as Voss pecans. I’m excited to incorporate more local produce into our baked goods as the season progresses.”
Boesdorfer said Custom Cup has added small grocery items as well, trying to work with other local businesses whenever possible. The offerings include meat sticks and jerky from Stremsterfer Farms in Pleasant Plains, chocolate treats from Cocoa Blue in Rochester and hot sauces from JimmySticks in Athens.
“I’m on the board of Illinois Stewardship Alliance, so I have connections with a lot of local farmers. We want to make sure we incorporate as many as we can,” said Boesdorfer. “We want to do more local products year-round.”