By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Dec 16, 2015 at 4:10 PM

The anticipated new Kickapoo Coffee, located at 232 E. Erie St., has announced its official opening date will be Saturday, Dec. 19. Festivities will include coffee tastings (TBA) and snacks as well as food served up by The Frying Dutchmen food truck from 6 to 9 p.m.

Owned by long-time Colectivo employee Scott Lucey and Kickapoo Coffee founders Caleb Nicholes and TJ Semanchin, the shop is a first for the award-winning organic coffee roaster based in Viroqua.

The cafe, which opened softly yesterday, features a bright airy environment with floor to ceiling windows and a clean, modern feel, bar-style seating along the front window, back coffee bar and at a central communal table, along with wooden benches arranged into nooks that are perfect for casual conversation.

Tables are made in part from wood sourced from Amish craftsmen near Viroqua, with metalwork, including the exterior signage, designed by Chris Dunn.

Offerings

Kickapoo will feature a full complement of coffee and espresso drinks, including pour-overs using a rotating selection of Kickapoo blends and single origin coffees.

Custom blended organic chai tea will be prepared in house and made with organic Sassy Cow milk (along with all milk-based coffee drinks). And house-made marshmallows will garnish steaming hot cups of hot chocolate.

As for food, Lucey says the shop made the decision to make as much as possible in-house.

"When I made the decision to open a cafe, I was either going to open up a tiny little spot, maybe even espresso only, or I was going to go all in," notes Lucey. "This is all in, and that means we needed to be on par with other cafes in the city."

That includes housemade granola ($3.50) and coffee cake (both a seasonal flavor with fruit and New York style for $2.75) along with freshly baked biscuits ($2.50) which are served with a choice of butter, honey butter, maple butter or lemon curd. Moving forward, the cafe also plans to make its own jam.

Lunch items will include three biscuit sandwiches (priced $7.50-8.50) including roast beef with red onion, arugula and horseradish aioli; Rushing Waters smoked trout with roasted red peppers, sprouts and creme fraiche; and avocado with sundried tomato pesto, sprouts, carrots and creme fraiche. Soup ($7) will be made by Bavette La Boucherie, just down the street.

Housemade cookies will also be available for $2.50, featuring flavors like classic chocolate chip and double chocolate ginger, a cookie that’s a bit like a ginger snap but with lots of chocolate flavor.

About Kickapoo

Kickapoo Coffee is a fair trade artisan coffee roasting company that was founded in 2005. Located in Wisconsin’s Driftless Region, the company is a family-owned, community focused company known for high quality coffee acquired from direct relationships with small-scale coffee growers who use organic and sustainable production methods.

They are among 21 U.S. coffee roasters to be named among the 2016 Good Food Award finalists for their Organic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Idido. They have been past recipients of the award for three years running.

They are also one of the first commercial coffee roasters in the nation to be powered entirely by solar energy, thanks to the installation of an 80-panel solar array installed this summer. The company hopes the investment will be fully paid off in the next seven or eight years, eliminating all electrical costs for the company and minimizing its overall carbon footprint.

Learn more about Kickapoo Coffee and its commitment to quality and sustainability on its web site.

Kickapoo Coffee will be open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Hours may change in the coming months based on customer demand.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

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.