A Galloway Village coffee shop has changed hands for the second time in as many years, as the owners of Republic-based Black Lab Coffee Co. plan to open their third location.
Black Lab owners, husband-and-wife Case Howard and Christa Stephens, purchased Springtown Coffee Co. this week from Van and Jess Malter for an undisclosed price. The shop is located at 3541 S. Lone Pine Ave.
“They just shot me a Facebook message,” Howard said regarding how the owners of the coffee shops connected. “This all happened over the weekend basically.”
Howard said the Malters wanted to exit Springtown as they couldn’t invest as much time and marketing for it as they’d like. It was a first-time ownership venture for the couple, who purchased the business last year from previous owners Justin and Allicyn Hollis, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.
The Hollises started Springtown in 2019 with Justin’s brother, Brennan Hollis, and his wife, Megan, as well as nearby 4 by 4 Brewing Co. LLC co-owners Derek and Danielle Shimeall.
Howard said the 900-square-foot Galloway Village shop is temporarily closed in advance of a targeted Sept. 7 reopening as Black Lab at Galloway. He said opening a shop in the neighborhood has been a long-term interest.
“I’ve always thought it was a cool area. We have friends that live over there,” he said, declining to disclose lease terms with landlords Jeff and Amy Haymes. “It’s a good business opportunity.”
The Republic company, which opened its first location in 2018, is registered as Black Lab Coffee LLC with the secretary of state’s office. The company expanded to downtown Springfield in December 2020 with the opening of a shop at 300 W. McDaniel St. Howard said the company is named after the couple’s black lab, Diesel, who died last year.
“This gives him a legacy, if you will,” he said.
Black Lab’s menu includes coffee drinks named after dogs, such as the bulldog and goldendoodle. The Republic and downtown Springfield shops serve breakfast and lunch. However, he said the smaller Galloway Village location will likely focus more on breakfast items, such as croissant sandwiches, avocado toast and burritos.
“We may add some of theirs to the menu as well, to show them a little homage,” he said of Springtown’s coffee drinks. Both companies source their beans from Battlefield-based Copper Canyon Coffee Roasters.
Retro Metro changed ownership; print shop Grafpros expanded to Mount Vernon; and the new headquarters and third full-service branch in Springfield for Multipli Credit Union opened.