Central Arkansas coffee lovers, rejoice – a new shop is coming to town – say hello to Round Mountain Coffee. Perched on Conway’s Prince Street, the team plans to pack a big punch in terms of quality and passion for the craft.
Owner duo Kyle Sackhoff and Scott William Forbush have over eight years experience working in coffee shops between them, and have known each other since high school. As little as three years ago, Forbush knew he wanted to open his own shop. Thus, he began working at Blue Sail Coffee to delve deeper into the coffee culture.
There the two reconnected, as Sackhoff signed on to work with Blue Sail early on. Sackhoff remembers, “Scott said, ‘Hey, I’m going to open a coffee shop – will you come with me?’ … So we went with it.”
Pieces began falling into place. The two had the opportunity for a space, and they jumped on it.
Sackhoff and Forbush couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the food scene, especially in Conway. Forbush says, “The local businesses – if you go to downtown conway now – it’s a lot more thriving and moving than it was ten years ago.”
At present the team is working hard to renovate and finalize the space. There will be a walled-off quiet room which students can use for studying purposes, and will also serve as a tasting room. In the general area, think wood grains, a red accent wall, and an overall comfortable space. Plus, the coffee bar will be forward-facing lending a space for conversation.
That last element was super important to the two of them. “We want people to be able to really interact with the baristas as we’re going through our process,” says Forbush.
And when it comes to coffee, the team has a bit of a motto – “When we make coffee, we want to do it with excellence. The idea behind that is that if you do something like coffee – with excellence – hopefully you’ll apply that excellence to other areas of your life,” explains Sackhoff.
As a shop, the team also has another goal – to encourage people to take coffee everywhere. Forbush explains, “We want you to enjoy it here when you’re at our shop but we want you to enjoy it elsewhere. That involves teaching people how to roast. It involves teaching people how to brew well, basically educating them on how to make good coffee. … We’re currently watching the coffee market explode in Arkansas, thanks to Onyx, Mylo, and Blue Sail. We want to be a company that helps people take their favorite product and make it anywhere they happen to be.”
The shop will roast their own beans, and offers a varied, three-panel menu, which although isn’t currently finalized, still sounds exciting. Patrons can expect traditional espresso drinks – including lattes, cortados, doppios, and a whole section devoted to black coffee. Espresso fans will be excited to hear that there’s also talk of espresso flights.
Non-coffee drinkers can expect teas and more, and there’s talk of securing a local Kombucha source for the shop, as well.
The two are probably most excited, however, about the specialty drink section. Working at Blue Sail Sackhoff and Forbush truly enjoyed getting outside of the box with drinks – “Almost like making cocktails,” says Forbush. Everything from sarsaparilla to lemonade is fair game in terms of ingredients.
Plus, the two have devoted themselves to being local as often as possible when it comes to purchasing said ingredients. For instance, they’ll be sporting Pink House Alchemy’s syrups as well as using an Arkansas chocolatier – KYYA – for their mochas. They are currently in the works of finding a local baker or two to help fill that need within the shop, as well.
The two have already created a team and are biting at the bit for their projected opening date – mid-to-late October. Sackhoff says, “We hired this team of really great people, and we told them from the beginning – we’re going to be a really close knit group, we want communication to be of the utmost importance. … We can all move forward together.”
The two are also incredibly thankful for all the help they’ve had in jump-starting Round Mountain. Forbush says, “This is not something that we could have done by ourselves. We’ve had so many friends and family members help us out. Also, my father is the other owner in this business, and without that we wouldn’t be able to be doing this.”