Union Coffee Co. was named Peoria’s restaurant of the month by Mayor Cathy Carlat for its locally grown coffee and dedication to the community.
“To be recognized and appreciated is just amazing, especially after going through such a crazy year,” said Kristin Frey, who owns Union Coffee Co. with her husband, Brian.
The shop is known for its locally grown and fresh brewed coffee. However, it’s what the Freys do with their revenue that sets them apart — and caught Carlat’s attention.
“When she saw that we are involved in the community, work directly with local farmers for our coffee beans, work with local artists, and that we do things honestly and ethically, I think that was what appealed to her,” Frey said. “We do fundraisers with the school, and we offer discounts of 10% to teachers, students and first responders.”
Unfortunately, one effort hit a little too close to home. Two years ago, a teacher at Oakwood Elementary School, where their daughters attended, was hospitalized with flesh-eating bacteria. Saddened to hear of the teacher’s prognosis, the Freys helped with the medical bills.
Since then, Union Coffee Co. has extended help to an elementary school band so it could travel and to Centennial High School student council’s fundraising efforts.
“We’ve been blessed with resources, and we figured we owe some of them back,” Frey said.
Brian, a Chandler native, and Kristin, who hails from Scottsdale, had good intentions from the start. Noticing the lack of coffee shops in Peoria, the couple thought it would be a worthwhile investment and a nice addition in 2017.
“We wanted a way to meet people, see them give back, and have a place to have a positive interaction and feel special,” Frey said.
Looking to the summer, there are two drinks that Union Coffee Co. expects to drive its sales.
“Our espresso is super popular because Jon does an amazing job with dialing in each specific single origin,” Frey said about the roaster, Jon Runion. “We always make sure we have something chocolatey or nutty on our espresso. Our lattes are also popular, especially during the summer. That’s typically people’s go-to drink.”
After nearly four years, Union Coffee Co. has grown beyond its doors. It sells its roasts at a wholesale price to neighboring coffee shops, like Enroute Coffee and Tea House in Goodyear.
“What I’ve learned in this industry is that you typically are all in it together,” Frey said. “For us, it’s important to be with people who also want to serve great coffee and do it well.”