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A New Coffee Shop Moves in Across From Kimball House in Decatur This Summer

Opo Coffee, a coffee shop, roastery, and coffee training center from the owner of Taproom Coffee and Beer in Kirkwood, opens on East Howard Avenue this summer

Cristina Elena

A new coffee shop and roastery from Jonathan Pascual, the owner behind Taproom Coffee and Beer in Kirkwood, is opening in Decatur this summer. Opo Coffee should open by July on East Howard Avenue, across from Kimball House.

Located in the former Ammazza pizzeria building next door to BBQ Cafe, Opo Coffee features a coffee bar with indoor and outdoor seating, a roastery selling its beans at the shop, and a coffee training center.

Under the direction of Chris Avirett, who previously served as head roaster for Thrive Farmers Coffee, expect drip coffee and espresso drinks, along with nitro iced coffees and latte specials here. Fresh pastries made daily at the shop will also be available. Unlike Taproom in Kirkwood, beer won’t be served at Opo.

Left to right: Chris Avirett (director of coffee); Jonathan Pascual (founder and CEO); and Jenny Burrell (director of marketing) of Opo Coffee
Left to right: Chris Avirett (director of coffee); Jonathan Pascual (founder and CEO); and Jenny Burrell (director of marketing).
Cristina Elena

Pascual says, Decatur was an attractive neighborhood for his next coffee endeavor. The city doesn’t have the high concentration of coffee shops and roasters as found in other parts of Atlanta and the metro area. He first opened Taproom in 2014, serving coffee from Atlanta roaster East Pole Coffee Co., craft beer from local breweries, and pastries from Alon’s Bakery. But, after eight years of running the Kirkwood coffee bar, Pascual says he now has ​​a different perspective on what makes an ideal coffee shop.

With the name embodying its mission — “opo” means “yes” with respect in Filipino — Pascual says this coffee business is driven by the “quadruple bottom line”: people, planet, purpose, and profit.

“So more than just saying we’re going to be a good coffee spot and we’ll do that the best, comprehensively, we’ll actually be making a positive impact in people’s lives,” he says.

Opo will be living-wage certified by the organization For US, which requires businesses to commit to paying a living wage based on the local cost of living. The coffee shop and roastery plans to donate 1 percent of its sales to environmental sustainability efforts as a 1% for the Planet member. On the local level, and like Taproom, Opo will open its shop to the community to host neighborhood events and partner with nonprofits and charitable organizations.

That community-minded mission extends to its training center, which Pascual says will be the only coffee training center site in Georgia to offer certified courses through the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), one of the industry’s main trade associations. With courses in brewing, barista, and roasting conducted by authorized SCA trainers, it also means all Opo Coffee employees will be certified as well.

“Something I’ve seen with being in coffee in Atlanta for a long time now is there hasn’t really been people who have led in the education and training kind of space when it comes to specialty coffee,” Pascual says. “There’s just been this de facto gap.”

By certifying Opo employees through the association’s training programs, Pascual says this should help elevate the quality of the coffee at the Decatur shop, too.

Until the roastery opens this summer, Opo is partnering with Peach Coffee Roasters to produce bags of beans for the business. Beans are currently available online for local delivery to zip code 30317 and for purchase at Taproom in Kirkwood.

314 East Howard Avenue, Decatur. opocoffee.com.

Ammazza

591 Edgewood Avenue Southeast, , GA 30312 (404) 835-2298 Visit Website

East Pole Coffee Co.

255 Ottley Drive Northeast, , GA 30324 (404) 939-6498 Visit Website

Kimball House

303 East Howard Avenue, , GA 30030 (404) 378-3502 Visit Website

Taproom Coffee

1963 Hosea L Williams Dr SE #R106, Atlanta, GA 30317 (404) 464-5435 Visit Website

BBQ Cafe

310 East Howard Avenue, , GA 30030 (678) 235-3476 Visit Website

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