The Mahomet IGA is a regular grocery store. When you enter, there are aisles, customers, cashiers; all the regular fixtures. Walk to the right, take a slight turn, and you’ll find something very Outside of Ordinary: a full espresso bar. Decorated and designed to feel cozy and intimate, Kaffee Mahomet suddenly transports you from grocery store to gathering space, and with no noise from the IGA pouring into its layout, this corner of a large shopping area suddenly feels like a second home.
Entering it’s fifth year of business, Kaffee Mahomet touts a name central to its purpose: to serve quality goods and espresso to the people of Mahomet. Deb Braunig and her husband made the conscious decision to open in Mahomet because, in Deb’s words, “the community needed it.” Avoiding the title of “coffee shop”, Deb prefers “espresso bar”, with a twist on recipes for long-time coffee drinkers and newcomers to the craft alike. “There’s a large work-at-home crowd in Mahomet, and we get quite a lot of traffic of the interstate,” Deb says. “Something a lot of people don’t realize that live outside of town is that the people of Mahomet are always on the go.”
That makes Kaffee Mahomet the perfect place to take a break from the busy day. Deb says that “the goal is to provide people a place to take a breath and experience a great cup of coffee, maybe a conversation, and just feel the calmness of it all.” There’s no wall clock in the seating area, meaning that unless you’re working on a laptop using their free WiFi, you’re just there, something that Deb and her husband do purposefully. “This is a place that people can recalibrate themselves or their lives to walk out the door feeling renewed.”
With plenty of tables and outlets, as well as a conference room that’s attached for meeting space and even game nights. “We’re opening our doors to gamers and young adults who want a space that can feel like their own.” There are plans coming up to have family nights for board games and other activities, as well as the means for hooking up video game consoles. “We’re not just serving Mahomet either. We have a lot of people who come by from Mansfield and Farmer City, and Parkland students too. It’s quicker to get to us than it is to drive from parts of Champaign down on Prospect.”
The espresso drinks at Kaffee Mahomet are creamy, and served with more espresso than the usual lattes; 12oz drinks get two shots, 16oz drinks get three. With breads from CI Bakehouse that are voted on by the customers themselves, as well as sweets from Sweet Indulgence in Bloomington and specialty teas, there’s a little bit of everything at Kaffee Mahomet, making it a one-stop shop for the full café experience. “What you’d pay extra to get in a ‘Flat White’ from Starbucks, we’re doing in every drink. Really, we’re here to serve the community in an ongoing way to make sure the people of this area have a quality, comforting place to get coffee.”
Deb was quick to add that there are regular brewed coffees as well, and all coffee comes from Columbia Street Roastery. “We have black coffee, hot chocolate, muffins, scones; these are all things customers tell us they want, so we make sure to have them. We work from the community,” Deb said smiling. “That’s why we love what we do.”