A new coffee shop in Mid-Missouri comes by way of Osage County and Seattle.
Serendipity Coffee & Tea has been serving specialty beverages inside the Old School Antique Mall in Linn since December 2018 — first from a "pop-up" stand inside the 1204 E. Main St. flea market, then from its own shop area, a former classroom inside the historic school building, starting in March.
Owners Lori and Ron Asel have moved back and forth between Central Missouri — where Ron grew up — and Seattle, Washington — where Lori's family is from — a couple of times. A couple of years ago, they settled in Westphalia, where their two daughters discovered the West Coast's coffee culture was lacking.
"From being in Seattle and having so much coffee around them, they were like, 'Can we open a coffee shop?'" Lori Asel said.
Asel, who has home-schooled daughters Gemma and Isabel, saw the idea as an opportunity for Linn, which didn't have a coffee shop, and for the girls to learn about running a business.
Thus, Serendipity was born.
"It's a word the girls and I have just always liked," Asel said of the name. "It's a happy coincidence, and a lot of things about our shop are like that."
Asel had always planned to serve tea with vintage cups and saucers. It's another happy coincidence Serendipity Coffee & Tea happened to find its home in an antique shop.
"It's just been a great combination of coffee and tea and shopping," she said.
Gemma Asel is Serendipity's assistant manager, and Isabel, who is finishing high school, works as a barista part time.
While customers access the coffee shop through Old School Antique Mall's main entrance, they plan to add an exterior entrance straight to Serendipity this summer.
The coffee shop also operates a drive-thru that opens at 6:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. The rest of the shop opens with the antique mall at 9 a.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays (only the drive-thru is open Mondays and Tuesdays), staying open until 4:30 p.m. Sunday hours are noon-4:30 p.m.
Serendipity brews coffee from Messenger Coffee Company in Kansas City. The coffee menu features standards like pour-overs, cappuccinos, lattes and cold brew.
Teas come in several black, green, herbal and oolong flavored varieties and can be ordered by the cup or in a pot for one or two.
Asel said her favorite teas are classic chai — made hot or cold — as well as the Jane's Garden blend, a green tea with pomegranate and rose flavors.
The shop also sells some pastries like scones, muffins and cinnamon rolls.
Serendipity Coffee & Tea hosted live musicians as part of its grand opening celebration in late April, and Asel hopes to continue bringing in artists to play acoustic sets.
The shop also will begin hosting coffee classes given by manager Benjamin Bommel on topics such as different coffee roasts and blends and how to make a pour-over coffee.
For updates and more information, visit serendipitycoffeeandtea.com.
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