Four years ago, Jared Thompson and Johan Podlweski started working on a vision of creating their own tea, coffee and eventually cafe to help spread their passion for fostering genuine relationships. This idea of starting meaningful conversations resulted in the creation of Wesley Andrews, a coffee roaster/retailer.
"I've always had a passion for coffee. My partner had more of a passion for tea," Jared said when we stopped by the cafe in Minneapolis this past weekend. "The original idea for the business was conversation compliments. We wanted any product that can bring people together to have good conversations."
Their experience with specialty coffee was an intentionally gradual one. They didn't want to sell anything that they didn't love themselves.
The partners roasted for four years and just recently opened their own cafe (seven months ago) after a positive pop-up experience.
The cafe itself has a modern, open concept with brick and wood standing as a warm contrast to the white tile throughout the space. A bar wraps around the center of the space, offering a comfortable place to start conversations with not only friends, but with strangers as well.
Jared's original goal was creating a space that would inspire conversation and it's been motivating for him to actually see that space take shape.
"People said that they've been here every day this week and that they meet new people every day," Jared said. "Hearing that from people...we know we're doing something good."
Wesley Andrews is a business run on flexibility and inspiration.
"Our business has really taken unexpected turns as we meet people," Jared said. "We always let the business go where it seems like our business is going to go."
Both Jared and Johan have other full-time jobs on their plate as well. Jared works at a Chemical Dependency Recovery Center in Minneapolis and they are not currently taking salaries from Wesley Andrews.
Currently they are sourcing coffee through Minneapolis locals, Cafe Imports. They are also featuring Arkansas based, Onyx Coffee Lab. In the future, they plan to start sourcing directly and expand their roasting capabilities with a roastery and tasting room.
If you ever find yourself in the Twin Cities, make sure to put Wesley Andrews on your caffeine list.