Kickapoo Coffee officially introduced its new name and logo today, changing its brand to Wonderstate Coffee.
Last April, the company announced the decision to change the business' name in light of growing concerns over cultural appropriation. The change-over – which included the renaming of the cafes in Viroqua, Bayfield and the Milwaukee-based cafe at 232 E. Erie St. – was initially slated to be in place by January of 2020.
The company released the new name and logo following a statement from co-owner T.J. Semanchin on Wednesday, broadcast through the coffee brand’s social media channels, acknowledging both the delay in the rebrand as well as a renewed commitment to anti-racism and gender equity.
In the letter, Samanchin states: "Tomorrow we will be releasing our new name and moving as fast as our team can in changing our online and social media presence, removing the signs from our three cafes and fast tracking all the small steps required of this rebrand process that has taken too long.
"To honor the capacity of our production and marketing staff and recognizing the real limitations we have in rebranded assets and packaging being ready for distribution to our wholesale customers, we will see the rebrand completed by August 3. Until then, we are committing to stop appropriating the Kickapoo name everywhere we possibly can. There will inevitably be hiccups and logistical challenges, and we thank you for supporting our team as they navigate the difficult situation Caleb and I have put them in."
The full text of the letter from Semanchin, which includes a stated commitment to anti-racism and gender equity, is available at kickapoocoffee.com/accountability.
Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.