In the not-too-distant past, the only place to get a cup of coffee in St. Pete was from one of the big national chains. Today, it seems like there is a coffee shop on every block. Not only is the Sunshine City home to mass-produced drive-thru coffee for when you need a quick early morning jolt, but St. Pete also has carefully roasted small batch coffee for when you want to appreciate every nuance of this incredible caffeinated bean.
In a few short months, another coffee shop will be joining the fray. Orlando-based Foxtail Coffee Co. recently signed a lease at 730 4th Street North. The space was previously occupied by Mini Doughnut Factory, which closed its doors in early 2019.
Foxtail Coffee opened its first location in Winter Park, a suburb of Orlando, in 2016. After some initial success, founders Alex Tchekmeian and Iain Yeakle were quick to expand the brand. Today, Foxtail operates 19 stores in the greater Orlando market and is now franchising into Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, and Miami.
“Foxtail Coffee is very excited to finally break into the Tampa Bay market,” said Miguel de Arcos of Central Parc Group, a partner in Foxtail Coffee. “Our whole team spends time there and have been wanting to bring our cafes to the market for a while.”
Yeakle attributes some of Foxtail’s success to their shop’s warm and welcoming atmosphere. “We wanted to build a space for the community—for people to come and not just to drink coffee,” he told The Apopka Voice in 2018.
A huge portion of the population is working from home right now, but who wants to be confined to their house all day? To avoid cabin fever, many workers have flocked to local coffee shops that offer comfortable seating, large tables, free WiFi, and power outlets.
However, it’s not just about the vibe. Foxtail takes their coffee seriously too. They roast five varieties in their Winter Park warehouse, where they also keg cold brew, and supply wholesale coffee to restaurants.
The single-origin offerings come from Colombia, Ethiopia, and Peru. There are also two blends available, such as the Farmhouse Blend, which is a medium roast reminiscent of cherry, brown sugar, and chocolate. Foxtail coffee is also bagged and sold by the pound in their cafes.
When the St. Pete outpost opens, Foxtail will serve up every type of espresso-based beverage you can think of, from lattes to cappuccinos, macchiatos, cortados, and more. For coffee purists, a myriad of brew styles will be offered, such as French press, Aeropress, siphon, and pour-over. Cold brew and nitro cold brew will also be available.
Not in the mood for coffee? Foxtail’s 4th Street location will also serve tea and yaupon, a wild-grown North American plant that is naturally caffeinated and very similar to tea. Expect around thirteen varieties to be available, like chai, matcha, raspberry rose, and mint citrus.
Food options will consist of fresh croissants, muffins, and cookies, but a larger food menu featuring breakfast sandwiches will be introduced down the road.
While Foxtail has leases being signed in several markets around Florida right now, the St. Pete location will be the first store open outside of the metro Orlando market. An additional nine Tampa Bay cafes are in the works, but specific locations have not yet been decided.
“Foxtail has a lot of customers now living in the Tampa/St. Pete area, so it’s imperative that we ensure the same quality of coffee and ‘local coffee shop’ experience they are used to,” said de Arcos.