Business Spotlight: Street Coffee
by: Robert Isenberg
“I’ve always been fascinated with street food and street culture,” says Preethy Kaibara, owner of Street Coffee. “When I saw that everything was changing in downtown Phoenix, I really wanted to be a part of it.”
The new café stands on the side of 7th Street, on the border between Roosevelt Row and Garfield. Street Coffee occupies one of three antique houses with sloped roofs and gray plaster walls. Drivers might fly past this little coffee shop, if it weren’t for the massive round sign on the corner. The logo looks like a black-and-white bull’s eye, impossible to miss.
“I just love to garner some surprise when you open the door,” says Kaibara. “It’s an old house, so you expect a certain look. But then you step inside. I want this place to be a surprise, to be fun.”
Street Coffee is a cozy café with sloped ceilings and bright windows. There are bistro tables and couches, and the café caters to students and telecommuters, patrons who need a quiet place to hang out. The place is clean and freshly renovated, but the old architecture gives it that “broken in” feel. The pastries are inventive and the coffee is rich – and roasted in the building next door.
Kaibara grew up in Alberta, Canada and moved to Phoenix 10 years ago. She is a family doctor and teaches at ASU, and she even holds a law degree. When Kaibara bought the three buildings, she wasn’t sure what to do with them. Then she remembered her longtime friendship with Andy Smith, a prolific local coffee roaster. After a decade of helping various cafes across the county, Smith is now manager of Street Coffee, where he roasts beans from far-flung places like Guatemala and Ethiopia.
“I thought of building a yoga studio,” Kaibara says. “But when we started talking about a coffee house, Andy was really excited.”
625 N 7th St. Mon-Fri, 7:00a – 6p
(602) 283-4000 Sa-Sun, 7a – 2p
Read our previous business spotlights