Goshen-based coffee roaster opening new café inside of South Bend barbershop
SOUTH BEND, Ind.—Twelve years ago, Michiana native Chris May started roasting coffee in a popcorn popper.
May had spent 20 years working on the assembly line in trailer factories and for him, coffee ignited the courage he needed to try something new.
“Coffee was my way out,” May said.
May said he was just trying to find a way to support his love of good coffee as a newlywed with debt. So he decided to learn the craft himself.
“I started researching what I could and we never looked back. I never knew that we would be planning café’s and serving coffees, I was just roasting as a home enthusiast for the love of what I was doing,” May said.
In 2016, May opened his boutique coffee café, Embassy Coffee Co., at 209 W. Lincoln Ave. in Goshen, serving up unique coffee blends, artisans toasts, organic juices, smoothies and quick bites like cookies and oatmeal.
“We’ve wanted to join the South Bend community just in the way of craft for about five years now, and Ethan De Nolf reached out to us and gave us what his idea was and invited us to come in and be a part of it,” May said.
May and his team have helped De Nolf transform a portion of the barbershop, located at 435 S. Michigan St. in South Bend into a café, which will soon serve as Embassy’s second location.
Embassy Coffee Co. will operate during the daytime while De Nolf’s Barbershop opens up in the evening.
May has been roasting coffee for years, a hobby that started as a way for him to save money.
The new cafe inside of De Nolf's Barbershop can seat between 20 and 25 people at a time.
De Nolf's Barbershop is located at 435 S. Michigan St. in South Bend.
May said the new café will feature Embassy’s coffee products as well as baked goods from The Ragamuffin.
“We’ll brew our own coffee here. Retail-wise, we’ll have kettles, bags, brewing equipment for you to brew at home, and education if you need it so you can save money and brew at home, intimately in your own space,” May said.
As for the unique partnership, May pointed out that the cafe and barbershop duo is part of a larger trend, with similar models already in operation in places like Indianapolis and New York City.
Embassy Coffee Co. is set to open inside of De Nolf’s by the end of February, May said, adding that the shop is currently going through final inspections.
The café will be open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on Sundays.
“We want a great coffee environment and conversation. We just want to get to know you,” May said. “South Bend, we’re ready for you!”