New Orleans will soon be home to a brand new specialty coffee shop Revelator Coffee.
“We want to bring what’s happening in other parts of the country down here, but in a way that’s appropriate,” said Founder Josh Owen. Besides a heavy focus on the product, Revelator strives to have an open, inclusive and welcoming shop with friendly baristas who can teach customers about specialty coffee.
The company is currently working out of a contracted roasting space in New Orleans, with its green coffees coming from both New Orleans-based Zephyr Green Coffee and Minneapolis-based Cafe Imports.
The shop will be opening its doors either in May or June of this year at 637 Tchoupitoulas Street in the Warehouse District. Ben Jacobson of Corporate Realty brokered the deal for Revelator.
Owen recognizes that the cost of living down here is really attractive to transplants who are used to the readily available specialty coffee in other regions in the United States such as the west coast and Northeast. “Our target customer is people moving from outside the city,” he explained.
The cost of operating a business is also appealing, says Owen. “For the cost of a shop in San Francisco, you could open ten down here.”
Revelator has already picked the other locations to open within the next few months, with plans for the near future in clear view. Owen says that older Southern cities experiencing an urban resurgence such as Raleigh-Durham or Charleston are prime locations for Revelator to open in addition to the already set locations in Birmingham, Alabama and two in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
“It’s a good time from a business point of view to be in the Southeast,” Owen continued. He says the specialty market is blowing up– companies are raising capital and getting bought– but nobody is focused on the Southeast region, yet. While everyone else is fighting over the same territory, Owen and the team plan to take over the regions untapped by many, where the economy is doing well.
Revelator is backed by a Berkeley-based VC firm, Roble Partners, and hopes to maintain its American roots with the major investment in the Southeast. “Think American machines,” said Owen, who is now sourcing things made in Kentucky. “We’re doing everything to make it American.”
If successful, the company could open as many as 20 locations by the end of 2015. Owen said they want to dominate the Southeast market with a balance of great products and beautiful spaces.
This article originally appeared on April 17, 2014 in our sister publication Silicon Bayou News.