Broken Board Coffee found a home within east-side skateboard shop

Tucked into a corner of Focus Boardshop, Broken Board Coffee’s presence has spread since opening in March.
Broken Board coffee cup with a pastry next to it in the coffee shop
Courtesy of Broken Board Coffee

Tucked into a corner of skateboard shop Focus Boardshop, Broken Board Coffee’s presence has spread mostly by word of mouth. “We’re kind of hidden,” says coffee shop co-owner Jared Kist. But don’t let the lack of fanfare fool you, Broken Board takes its coffee very seriously.

“We fall squarely in the third wave of coffee,” Kist says. “We definitely respect what the roasters, farmers and growers are doing.” Opening in March 2021 on the east side, Broken Board has started to gain a following of people seeking out quality pour-over coffees and sneak hits like this past summer’s iced espresso lemonade.

While this is Kist’s first time working professionally with coffee, he has years of experience in the restaurant industry and worked in graphic design before losing his job when the pandemic hit. When his friend John Dobbe, owner of Focus, approached him about the idea of opening a coffee shop inside the skateboard shop, Kist decided to go for it. Broken Board now joins the growing trend of sports shops that provide coffee in-house. One of the first tasks was to find a coffee roaster. “I spent a long time talking to Wonderstate about sustainability and ethics and their track record is amazing,” Kist says. “And I love the way their coffee tastes.” In addition to Wonderstate Coffee, Broken Board also rotates in local roaster Rusty Dog Coffee. The shop’s looseleaf teas are from Rusty’s organic tea brand, 6&12 Tea Co.

Broken Board’s focus may be on contemporary coffee and single origin pour-overs, but Kist enjoys coming up with seasonal drink specials that allow him to get creative in the kitchen. “I generally have an end in mind, and then work backwards,” Kist says. “Any of the fruit I squeeze fresh, I make syrups from scratch.” This month’s sweet potato latte is a riff on the ubiquitous fall theme of pumpkin spice. “I had enough people that were like, don’t do the pumpkin spice!” Kist says. “I did not expect that … I figured I could please both worlds with a sweet potato pie latte.” For the latte Kist juices sweet potatoes, adds warming spices of ginger and cinnamon and sweetens the drink with maple syrup.

Sweet treats from local bakeries round out Broken Board’s menu including vegan doughnuts from Level 5. “The quality is ridiculously good and they kind of have a cult following,” Kist says. Broken Board also features vegan scones and coffee cake from Heirloom Bakery and mini cakes from K&C Bakery.

For the past six months Kist has enjoyed watching his business grow. “We do have a handful of skateboarders who will come in, get a drink and hang out with me,” Kist says. “But we have built our own base.”

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