Vent Coffee Roasters has been named the latest tenant to join Union Collective, the forthcoming manufacturing and retail complex in Medfield spearheaded by Union Craft Brewing, the two Baltimore companies announced Wednesday morning.
Sarah Walker, Vent’s owner, has been the in-house roaster at Argosy Café downtown for the past two years. Now, the plan is to open her first brick-and-mortar coffee shop in Union Collective in early spring, the Remington resident said.
Walker designed the 1,900-square-foot shop’s layout, which will include a coffee/espresso bar that will seat 40-45 people and eventually a kitchen where Vent will bake pastries like baklava and Greek butter cookies using Walker’s family recipes.
“We’re hoping to do a kitchen right off the bar, but it might be something we build later,” Walker said.
With Vent on board, the Union Collective project — which will also include the Charmery ice cream shop, Huckle’s hot sauce, Baltimore Whiskey Company and other local businesses — is 80 percent leased, according to a news release.
Walker said the owners of Union Craft Brewing, who are anchoring the complex at 1700 W. 41st St., approached her in March 2016 about opening her own shop. The two entities previously worked together on collaborations including Union’s AM Gold and Pajama Pants beers.
The build-out of Vent has not yet begun, but she hopes it will begin before the start of the new year. Walker envisions a space that will feel like a “second home” to visitors.
“I want it to be more of a hangout, like when you’d go over your friends’ [homes] in high school, and the garage doors roll up and everybody’s hanging out,” Walker said.
Vent will approach coffee in a variety of ways. There will be a “slow bar” for single-cup brew methods, Walker said. For customers in more of a rush, there will be a drip machine as well. Other items on the menu will include tea, espresso drinks, nitro cold brew on tap and non-alcoholic coffee “mock”-tails.
For Walker, one of the most important aspects of Vent’s new home is that it feels comfortable.
“A lot of coffee shops tend to feel pretentious, specifically some that want to focus so much on the chemistry or the science behind the coffee. Sometimes, it can feel a little stark,” she said. “I just want people to feel comfortable.”
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