Expansion Plans Brewing

·6 min read

Dec. 26—TRAVERSE CITY — After brewing two pots of coffee, what's a third? Or a fourth?

Even before its third location is open for business, Mundos Roasting & Co. is percolating on a fourth. With existing locations on Woodmere Avenue and in Suttons Bay, Dan Clark is doubling down on his family-owned coffee shops by opening two more in the spring.

Earlier this fall, Clark announced he would open a second Traverse City location at 720 W. Front St., which he is calling Mundos West. Earlier this week, Clark told his employees at a Christmas party he was bringing yet another Mundos to the 4Front Credit Union building at 305 W. Front St., also in the spring of 2022.

Even though the two new locations are less than a mile apart — slightly farther considering the West Front Street Bridge under construction — Clark is ready to serve coffee connoisseurs in different ways.

"Our thought behind it is the place on the west side of Division, what we're calling Mundos West, it's going to be made for shorter wait times and a more simplified menu," Clark said. "It's going to be more grab a cup and go.

"Mundos 305 will have a more diverse menu, more of a place to enjoy a pour over and be a place for larger groups and meetings. It will be designed for that; a place where you can sit down, have a coffee and enjoy it.

"There's going to be tons of light in there. It's going to be drastically different and that's going to be the cool part of it all."

Mundos Roasting & Co. launched in Traverse City at 708 Boon St. on Nov. 13, 2017. Mundos North followed in Suttons Bay at 206 N. St. Joseph St. in April 2019.

The reason behind the expansion, and going from one Traverse City location to three was simple, Clark said in an email.

"We love Traverse City," Clark said in an email. "We are enamored by the natural grandeur that exists here, the life we live and the moments we share. But above all, we love the people. We want to create spaces where people experience the beauty of coffee and community."

Mundos is very much a family business. Joining Dan Clark among the company's five owners are sons Adam and Jack. Adam and his wife, Kelly, run the Mundos North location in Suttons Bay, while Jack Clark serves as head roaster.

Also owners are Joelle Curtis and Luke Norris. Curtis manages the Mundos HQ while Norris handles maintenance, wholesale and team leads. Add in all the spouses and the family grows further. Throw in the team members and the Mundos tree has many branches.

"Absolutely, there's family in (ownership group) and in-laws," Dan Clark said. "Over the last 4 1/2 years, we've invited a lot of other people into our family.

"Even our employees are like our family and we couldn't have done this without them."

Mundos 305 will be the largest of the four locations, with 3,300 square feet of space. Dan Clark said it will seat around 75 people and be located on Pine Street between the 4Front lobby and OMPT Specialists Physical Therapy.

"There will be more café seating there," Clark said. "It will have more than any of our other locations."

Clark is just as excited to bring Mundos to Slabtown.

"We know there is overwhelming demand from the neighborhood and people that work on the west side of town," Clark said. "This does give them something a little easier to get to."

Even more excited than Clark is Ed Johnston of Northern Property Management. Johnson purchased the property a couple of years ago, razed the building that "was in rough shape" and rebuilt. Johnson eventually approached Clark about opening a third Mundos location there.

"Our whole family is kind of in the property management component," Johnson said. "When we saw the property was available, we picked it up. We really liked the whole Mundos business model and what they were doing and how it fit into the community,"

Johnson also had a selfish reason for Mundos West.

"We were regular customers, both in Suttons Bay and Traverse City," he said. "We got together as a family and said this would be a good fit. We approached Dan on it. He was thinking at the time about possibly expanding and having the property to do it downtown."

Johnson and Clark said the 720 W. Front St. location of Mundos will have eight parking spots in front of the building, plus additional street parking on Cedar and Third streets. There are also plenty of walking and biking options, and a bus stop nearby.

Johnson said the site eventuallywill be managed by his son, Austin Johnson, his daughter, Morgan Siemer, and their spouses. A two-bedroom, 1 1/2 -bath Airbnb is planned for the space above Mundos West.

Clark and Johnson said Slabtown seems ready for Mundos to open, which could be as soon as May. Johnson said he hears from a handful of people every week, often as they pass the site.

"It's a growing neighborhood," Dan Clark said. "That's a pretty desirable area, I think. We've had so many people when we made the commitment thankful that we were going to be in that neighborhood. They either live there, work there, or drive through there. I think it will be so much more convenient for them."

"People are excited about it coming into that community," Johnson added.

Mundos West will emphasize the outdoors with seating in front, as well as 14-foot ceilings to bring in plenty of natural light. A patio area near Kids Creek also will be featured.

"It will be the place to be in the summer time," Clark said.

The interior of Mundos West will have plenty of plants, just as Mundos HQ does on Boon Street.

"We sold a lot of plants (during the pandemic)," Clark said. "We kind of did whatever we could. Stuff like that is what we adapted to do."

Mundos HQ also sells products on consignment from local makers like LMBR + Hide, Grand Traverse Hot Sauce, Skyler the Potter, thistle + grey, North Lavender and Bloom Wildcraft.

"There are so many creative makers in this area," Dan Clark said. "Traverse City is great for that."

It also continues the Mundos emphasis on local. Johnson said it's probably one of the reasons his family at Northern Property Management wanted to work with Mundos.

"That's the neat thing," Johnson said. "Everybody's local and working together on the whole project."

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