Young entrepreneurs craft buzzy coffeehouse concept in west Fort Worth
A joint coffeehouse and workspace called Craftwork Coffee Co. is coming to west Fort Worth in a high-visibility spot in January. Craftwork will open at 4731 Camp Bowie Blvd., in a 1946 building which also houses The Original Mexican Eats Cafe.
It's a unique concept that's part coffeehouse, part retail workspace; the shared-workspace trend is still relatively new to Fort Worth. At Craftwork, you can work in a communal space, a private office, or team up with buddies in a double suite.
Craftwork comes from business partners and pals Riley Kiltz, 25, and Collin Sansom, 26. Kiltz, a TCU graduate, says he came up with the idea after getting frustrated with the facelessness of modern workspaces.
"I'd been working in private equity as a consultant for a firm out of New York, traveling all over the world and, most of the time, working remotely," he says. "And workspaces really suck. I needed something more. You'd have 50 people all lined up and no one knew each other."
They hope Craftwork will be more of a communal experience than your average coffeehouse, where most people just look down at their computer screens or mobile devices.
"The idea is to have a retail workspace that revolves around the life and energy of a coffeehouse," Kiltz says. "We want the workspaces to provide more than just a box to work in. We want people to talk to each other. We want there to be a sense of community."
Sansom, a former barista trainer at Thunderbird Coffee in Austin, will oversee the coffee end of things. He's developing a drink menu with hot and cold options, espresso drinks, and pour-overs. Fort Worth bakery Stir Crazy Baked Goods will provide snacks and pastries.
Coffee beans will come from Dallas-based Tweed Coffee Roasters, a sister company of Austin'sHoundstooth Coffee. But they're also sourcing from less-known roasters around the country such as Olympia Coffee Roasting Company in Washington, Madcap Coffee from Michigan, and Onyx Coffee Lab from Arkansas.
"We wanted to get the best coffee available, not just from around here but from around the country," Kiltz said. "This way, people can get a different perspective on coffee."
Workspaces start at $170 a month. The space has a conference room, cafe discounts, Internet access, and desks and chairs.
The pair worked with local design firms Studio 97W andPalletSmart to preserve the characteristics of the 3,300-square-foot space which has been home to a psychic, real estate agency, and auto mechanic shop. The building's bones are mostly intact; they've been accentuated with modern touches.
"Bright colors, clean lines, real simple, real clean," Kiltz says. "But then we have steel rafters and lots of wood, which gives it a modern industrial vibe."