Storefront – Mundos Roasting & Co., Traverse City, Michigan

Mundos Roasting & Co. is a wonderful addition in May 2019 to Suttons Bay, Michigan. This is the second location for a successful business that started in a non-descript area in Traverse City far off from the main shopping. Hopefully the Suttons Bay location will help to raise the profile for this small business that is putting out such a fine product. At each location you will see their micro-roasting equipment. On their website they celebrate the arrival of new batches of beans with great enthusiasm:

We have a new coffee delivery! Two new Colombian coffees arrived. One is a remarkable natural processed coffee, and the other is a beautiful washed coffee. Also, the Kenya Nyeri AB is back along with a peaberry from the same farm. We can’t wait to get these roasted and share them with you! Also, we have a great Guatemalan we are stoked to share. These coffees should be on espresso and slow bar very soon! Tasting notes and purchasing options coming forthwith.

Mundos web site, accessed 9/1/2019

A 2-week subscription of new coffee beans is available in the Shop on their website. This is an interesting way to build customer loyalty and to generate regular revenue for the business over time.

Perhaps the greatest part of the story is how a mom from California, a dad from Michigan, and their five kids have all chipped in to craft this hand-made experience full of love. The dad is a builder, one of the daughters a designer, and the sons have chipped in with marketing and graphic design. You’re likely to see any number of them in the shop when you visit. Be sure to say hi and also share your appreciation for this one-of-a-kind (or two-of-a-kind) place and experience.

What probably impressed me most was the design of both their stores. No detail was too small to escape attention. The retail wall facing the storefront door, for instance, evokes feelings of order, with everything in its proper place. The plants bring an organic element to contrast the clean modern straight lines. Subway tiles give a shimmering quality to the walls while also being easier to clean and maintain.

A simplified cash wrap and counter has only the most essential items. Glass display case carrying the gold colors forward (from the menu frames), without being overloaded with too much product. Subway tiles, equipment, and a variety of Edison bulbs evoke a higher-end high-design feel that fits well with artisinally roasted coffee.

My tea was served in a Japanese-inspired cup on a simple wooden plank with the extra tea in a small glass decanter. Outdoor patio provides a view of Suttons Bay – demonstrating how this location convenient to both people strolling North Saint Joseph Street, or arriving by boat.

These charming wall-mounted tables and stools, give a fun social space for people to gather together for a coffee and catch up. While situated in a much larger room they create an intimate hideway. The design appears to be derived from fold out tables on sailboats that serve as a space-saving measure. An L-shaped metal brace holds the vertical and horizontal pieces together and is affixed to the wall. This leaves the area beneath the table clear giving a cleaner look and feel overall.

Perhaps this photo captures the Mundos aesthetic and offerings best. To the right in the distance is the small batch coffee roaster in the next room facing the kitchen. The industrial aesthetic is continued with polished floors, concrete block walls, and leaving the character marks from past tenants and users of the space. Plants soften the modern hard edges and evoke a welcoming feel.

Somewhat ironically, we didn’t really notice the front door until after we left. That is because it lacked some of the same flair as the inside. More inviting moves would be replacing the “Coffee” and “Open” signs with those made of materials consistent with inside – especially metal and concrete. Carrying forward the natural and industrial aesthetic on the outside would help to create a complete and consistent experience for customers. A custom door pull would set the tone as people arrive instead of the standard fixture that is there now. Finally, lighting is one element not presently being utilized that might enliven the outside. Looking at all options from bullet lights, to sconces, to festival lighting overhead – will make the space more welcoming and draw more customers in. If the same attentiveness to detail on the inside of the store is brought to the passages approaching the store and the entrances outside – more people will discover this magical place. As the business enters its first winter season at this location, hopefully they will find the time to refine the outdoor space as much as they have the inside.

One last note is we went directly to the original Mundos in Traverse City after visiting their Suttons Bay store – not once but twice in two days it was that good. We found many of the features we originally liked, as well as a few new ones worth bringing to the Suttons Bay storefront.

The storefront has nice placement of signage and lighting to give it a welcoming look. Barn lights over the doors flood these in light to draw people to either of the two entrances. The gooseneck lights highlight the logo and sign. Finally, some garden lights over the large bay window add a color accent during the day and a glow at night without being too bold.

Air succulents in geometric wire containers are suspended from a piece of plumbing pipe affixed to the wall. Natural and industrial themes once again combined harmoniously in this feature.

These bags of coffee on roller carts give the sense of how close customers get to their product. Resting of plants atop the carts soften them and bring a wild element into the retail space that makes it feel full of life.

On the opposite side of the store from the cash wrap is their roasting equipment and seating for customers. The family style table along with chairs of different designs give color, texture, and choice to how people locate themselves in this physical environment. Coffee is roasted a few times a week adding a theatrical element, not to mention an aromatic one to the store.

The cash wrap is clad in a plank flooring material to give a warm touch and draw the eye to where coffee may be bought. The floor on the other hand is polished rather than covered, to bring out the aggregate in the stone and character marks from use by past tenants.

Industrial aesthetic continues with this table with a pipe base and polished stone top. Bar stools are similar to those we’ve seen on Wayfair.