Although the partners have not yet decided what to call the new venture, Ibis Bakery owner Chris Matsch says that Messenger Coffee Co. will take the second floor for roasting green coffee beans, while its coffee shop and café will operate with Ibis Bakery on the first floor.
“Just imagine how good it is going to smell in our new space,” Matsch said with a laugh.
The two companies began with one thing in common: a burning belief that they could make an excellent product simply by sourcing high-quality ingredients and doing the work themselves.
Another thing they have in common? Matt Matsch, who helped run the Black Dog Coffeehouse in Lenexa after his mother, Carole Matsch, purchased it in May 2013.
At the time, Matt’s brother Chris, a bread baker, had just returned from California with plans to open his own bakery. Thick slabs of homemade toast slathered with locally sourced almond butter and jelly have become a must-serve item in cafes in both San Francisco and Los Angeles, and Chris Matsch wanted to do the same at Black Dog Coffeehouse. So they opened Ibis Bakery next to the coffee shop, and delicious designer toast and a grab-and-go bread baking business was born.
The coffee side took a little more work to come together.
Black Dog bought and sold coffee from Benetti’s Coffee Experience in Raytown. That’s how the Matsch brothers were introduced to Nick Robertson, Benetti’s Quality Control and Bean Buyer. Robertson purchased the wholesale business from Benetti’s. Then, with Bennetti’s coffee roaster, Kiersten Perry and Matt Matsch, he formed a new entity: Messenger Coffee Co.
With shared entrepreneurial goals, and financing from their family, Messenger Coffee Co. and Ibis Bakery began discussing the ways they could grow their separate businesses together. The result was the purchase of a historic red brick building on the corner of 1624 Grand Boulevard in the Crossroads of Kansas City.
Both companies are thrilled by the possibilities. “We will be milling our own flour for our bread when we open our new space,” says Chris Matsch, “which I am very excited about, as we do not have the space or equipment to do that today.”
Although Ibis Bakery’s decadent toasts with locally sourced butters, honeys and jams are a big hit at Black Dog Coffeehouse and the farmers’ markets at Bad Seed, Brookside and Downtown Overland Park, Matsch is looking forward to offering more savory selections at the new Crossroads café.
Open-face tartines will feature a variety of locally sourced, seasonal toppings. They’ll also be able to laminate dough, leading to flaky crusts for croissants and other pastries. Matsch says, “Those are some of the things we have not been able to do before, but we will now, with our new space.”
The Matsch family has big plans as it continues to grow its coffee empire in Kansas City. In addition to its financial stakes in Black Dog Coffeehouse, Messenger Coffee Co. and Ibis Bakery, as of late last year the family also purchased a controlling interest in the four local Filling Station coffee shops through its Messenger Coffee Co. partnership, creating a perfect pipeline for good coffee and great pastries in Kansas City.