Marcus Parkansky aims to disrupt the coffee market. So why is the young coffee entrepreneur behind Misfit Coffee Co. venturing into the traditional brick-and-mortar coffee shop?
Unsurprisingly, he hopes to do things differently.
Parkansky has purchased the Urban Bean at 24th & Lyndale from owner Greg Martin with a plan to translate the mobile coffee trailer’s social, event-driven experience into his first coffee shop.
Sometime in June, Parkansky said he hopes to have built out less of a study spot and more of a coffee bar during the day and a dimly lit lounge during the evening. Rather than a place people bring headphones and work for hours and hours, it will be a modular hangout spot that host a variety of social events.
“I want to try and make the space that you go for a meeting or to have fun or to have a good drink,” he said. “We want people to gather and be there for the coffee… but we also want to utilize the space in a way where people come to be social.”
The brick-and-mortar shop is a longtime coming for Misfit, which started in 2015 as a coffee trailer. The mobile shop isn’t a food truck, but rather, a 98-square-foot coffee operation towed behind a truck. Parkansky relocated to Minneapolis from Milwaukee, but brought a relationship — and beans — from Milwaukee-based roastery Valentine Coffee Co.
The business is known for its specialty drinks made like cocktails and its nitro cold-brewed coffee. Beyond the trailer, Misfit has a burgeoning wholesale business with local fitness studios, coffee shops and advertising agencies.
Martin announced April 20 that he’ll be handing over the keys to Parkansky. Martin took over the retail space in 2011 after renovating the former Muddy Waters location and has operated the third-wave coffee shop for the past seven years.
Parkansky has been searching for a permanent home for Misfit for over a year. He had explored the possibility of a space in the Sheridan neighborhood in Northeast Minneapolis for several months, but that didn’t work out. Then Martin reached out to him about a potential sale.
“My big plan is that I wanted to open up something pretty large scale,” Parkansky said.
Parkansky envisions the shop as a coffee bar with actual bar service, though he’s not sure if a liquor license will work with the location. He plans to move the espresso machine so it’s not blocking employees from customers. Instead of a single barista working the counter, he said two people will be working at a given moment to serve drinks and encourage conversation.
The cafe’s constant presence will allow the trailer to be available for more events, a growing part of Misfit’s business. Parkansky said he’ll scale back the trailer’s hours at the Mill District’s Gold Medal Park during the week so it can take on more corporate events. Misfit also operates a coffee kiosk location at the Weisman Art Museum on the University of Minnesota campus.
“We’re all about going anywhere people ask us to be,” he said.
While he’s planning the café, Parkansky said Misfit will begin roasting its own beans for nitro cold brew for the trailer, shop and wholesale accounts. Eventually, he hopes to begin bottling or canning the coffee in the future.
Parkansky is already working on the second and third Misfit locations. While details haven’t been finalized, the next shop will likely be a store-within-a-store in Minneapolis and potentially open later this year. Another brick-and-mortar location may open in downtown St. Paul.
But before then, Misfit customers can look for the first coffee shop to open at 2401 Lyndale Ave. S. around the end of the spring.