Carrie Rengers

Local Roasters opens in Douglas Design District

Local Roasters opens in Douglas Design District

Jason Gardner and Colby Short opened the retail side of their Local Roasters on Friday at the former Hannah Banana space at 2828 E. Douglas. Gardner, shown in the video, explains the store's business.
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Jason Gardner and Colby Short opened the retail side of their Local Roasters on Friday at the former Hannah Banana space at 2828 E. Douglas. Gardner, shown in the video, explains the store's business.

Former Spice Merchant head roaster Colby Short and his soon-to-be stepfather-in-law, Jason Gardner, opened the retail side of their new Local Roasters coffee business on Friday.

There’s no sign yet, though, so for now they’re going to have to tell people they’re under the big “Yarn” sign in the Douglas Design District.

“We’re trying to resolve . . . what it’ll take to redo the Yarn sign,” Gardner says. “They don’t approve signage that large on Douglas anymore.”

He says he can’t make size modifications but may reface it.

He and Short have joked about naming coffee blends after yarn-related items.

So far, they have seven coffees for sale and could be up to 20 in the next couple of weeks.

The shelves for the coffee are shelves from the city’s former library, and they’re now on casters so they can be easily moved when the store hosts events.

For instance, artist Wade Hampton is going to have an art show their for this month’s Final Friday.

Gardner and Short have been planning Local Roasters a long time, but the property has two different owners, and they wanted both sides of the building.

“It was a little bit tricky,” Gardner says.

It took some time to complete, but now one side will be the retail storefront, and the other is for roasting.

The two cut an entryway in a wall between the buildings, which Gardner says is how it used to be in the ’60s when it was a Hallmark store.

He says the west side was built in 1952, and the east side was built in 1959.

Gardner is keeping his day job as manager of Spectrum Promotional Products, and Short will roast the coffee.

He says he wants to supply coffee to businesses and help them curate their own blends.

Local Roasters will sell beans by the bag, ground or whole. There will be samples for customers to try, but no to-go cups.

Though they’ll have events in the space, Short says the business isn’t going to be a sit-down coffee shop.

As he told Have You Heard? in October, “We don’t want to have a coffee shop. We want to focus more on just the coffee itself.”

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com.
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