Two longtime friends are teaming up to bring a hybrid coffeehouse and plant shop to Ozark.
Callie Sitton and Shai McCarty are targeting late June for the launch of Urban Grounds LLC. Their first-time ownership venture is at 5557 N. 21st St., Ste. 5.
“We’re kind of calling it a coffee and plant lab,” Sitton said, noting the shop will sell houseplants, including succulents and cacti, along with a menu of coffee drinks such as lattes, cold brews and nitro brews. “We’re going to have something for everybody.”
The owners expect to employ around eight people for the 2,200-square-foot store and drive-thru in Deerbrook Marketplace, the same shopping center that houses Primas Mexican Grill. They declined to disclose estimated startup costs or the rate of their five-year lease with Mike Seitz of Triple S. Properties Inc.
Aside from selling plants, Urban Grounds also will host houseplant design workshops, utilizing the shop’s supplies, which include pots, dirt, sand and rocks. Additionally, a meeting room can be booked for events such as birthday parties and bridal showers.
While the owners are currently looking for wholesalers for their houseplants, Sitton said they selected Sedalia-based Ozark Coffee Co. as the shop’s roaster. Drink services also will include cocktails, such as martinis, margaritas, mimosas, wine and beer. However, she said that option’s availability by opening day depends on gaining city approval for the liquor license.
Upon opening Urban Grounds, both Sitton and McCarty say they plan to maintain their current jobs in addition to working in the shop. Sitton, who has worked as a teacher for 11 years, is currently employed at Parkview High School, while McCarty is a hairstylist at A Valeria Boss Salon in Springfield.
It was a November 2021 visit to the salon by Sitton that planted the seed for Urban Grounds, McCarty said. Sitton pitched the coffee and plant shop idea to her friend of 22 years.
“At the time, I was feeling that I didn’t know what I wanted to do but knew I needed to do more in my life,” McCarty said. “As soon as she started talking, I got chills and got emotional.”
The conversation continued over dinner and the women say they almost immediately began putting the idea into action.
“It kind of happened quickly, but it’s all fallen into place very nicely,” McCarty said.
The soon-to-launch shop falls in the same java and houseplant combination of Green House Coffee and Affogato Bar, which opened late last year in downtown Springfield, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in May the all-items inflation index surged 8.6% over the past year, the highest increase since 1981.