Photos of the Day: Latte Art!

We got our espresso machine up and running this weekend.  Here are the first two lattes we made.  :)

Photo of the Day: Coffee Grinder

Isn't he just a cute little guy? Watch out through he makes a mean grind! Just delivered today.
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Photo of the Day: Splash guard

There are many little things that most people wouldn't think of to maintain food safety... this is one of them. Splash guards on our hand-washing sink keep germs and soap away from food.

Photo of the Day: Painting Chalkboards

We're working on a project to paint the chalkboard signs for our menus. They are coffee colored! The frames are still to come.
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Photo of the Day: Syrups!

Many like to add a flavor to their latte, cappuccino or mocha.  We have your typical vanilla, caramel, hazelnut and almond but also some fun ones like raspberry, pumpkin spice and peppermint.  Plus, we'll have then all year round so you won't have to wait for the holidays to get your favorite drink.  :)

Photo of the Day: Cups and Saucers

These are some ceramic cups and saucers we got.  The larger one is 16 oz.  The medium one is 12 oz.  The little guy is for straight espresso, macchiatos and cortados. 

Also, since there wasn't a photo of the day yesterday, here's another sneak peak at our espresso machine - the central piece to Overflow Coffee Bar.

Photo of the Day: Espresso and Boardgames!

We're having some friends at the shop to help us practice our espresso-making skills. They are also playing boardgames. A great way to spend a Saturday night. :)
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Photo of the Day: 3-Section Sink

Hooked up but still needs cleaned and the soap and sanitizer added. Its functional though!
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Photo of the Day: Music!

Today some speakers were put in and hooked up to this little contraption.  The speakers blend in with the ceiling so I can't show you a photo of them.  I've currently got a laptop hooked up and am already listening to my favorite Pandora stations.  Currently playing is some Mozart.  :)

Photo of the Day: Meet An Owner Part II

Overflow Coffee Bar is owned by a husband and wife team.  Today, you get to know the wife - Amanda Neely.

Amanda is 26 years old and has the energy of a young adult but maturity of someone in their 30s.  She grew up in a small town in Ohio in the Appalachian foothills where she learned the value of hard work.  She came to Chicago for college in 2002 and attended the University of Chicago.  Amanda has always been a learner and valued the liberal arts curriculum at the UofC.  After college, Amanda started working in fundraising for a large national nonprofit.  In 2009, she left her position as a grant writer to start pursuing Overflow Coffee Bar.  She completed an internship at an independent, woman-owned coffee shop on the North side and learned all about what it means to own and manage a coffee shop successfully.  Amanda is looking forward to the day Overflow opens and being able to serve the South Loop.

Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Movie Genre: Based on True Stories
Favorite Pizza Style: vegetables - the more, the better
Favorite Band: The Beatles (I'm really a child of the 60s at heart)
Favorite Espresso Drink: Almond Milk Cortado
Celebrity Look-alike: None.  If you think you know one, post a comment.

Photo of the Day: Meet an Owner Part I

Overflow Coffee Bar is owned by a husband and wife team.  Today, you get to know the husband - Brandon Neely.

Brandon is 33 years old and has a full life of experience.  He grew up in Southeast Texas and went to high school in New Orleans.  After high school, Brandon was in the U.S. Marine Corps in San Diego.  He stayed in San Diego afterward but then moved to Elgin, IL in 2000.  Over the years, Brandon has worked as a waiter at numerous restaurants, been a sound engineer and in the Information Technologies field.  He currently works in the Loop at an international company.  He looks forward to leaving his cubicle and taking his place behind the bar at Overflow.  He's been dreaming of owning a coffee shop since going to Cafe Du Monde and the Coffee Bean in New Orleans as a teenager.

Favorite Color: Red
Favorite Movie Genre: Tie between Superheros and Epic movies
Favorite Pizza Style: pineapple and Canadian bacon
Favorite Local Restaurant: Weather Mark Tavern
Favorite Espresso Drink: White Chocolate Mocha
Celebrity Look-alike: Toby MaGuire

Photo of the Day: Tables and Chairs!

Just a little teaser... we can't reveal everything. :)
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Photo of the Day: Display Case!

The display case was delivered today! Ready for pastries, pies, juice, and other awesomeness.
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Photo of the Day: Set Up Shop Headquarters

I've made a temporary station for myself for getting work done, holding meetings, overseeing deliveries, etc.  This is where I sit everyday.  :)

Photo of the Day: Ice Maker!

Yes, there's plenty of ice outside but even looking at the ice maker makes (pun intented) me anticipate the warmer months.  I look forward to making iced beverages for people to take with them to 18th Street beach or Grant park.  :)

Photo of the Day: Baked Goods!

Our [potential/probable] baker Sweet Miss Givings came by today with some samples for us to try.  Sweet Miss Givings is a social enterprise just like us.  They do job training and their profits go to Chicago House.  Looks yummy! 

Photo of the Day: Tea!

We got a bunch of 1 oz. tea samples (black, green, herbal and chai) for an event but they didn't arrive in time because of Snowpocalypse.  Rishi will be our tea provider.  We encourage you to read up on their website so that you know what your drinking when you come to the store.

Plus, the first 10 people to give $15 on our new ChipIn! (to the right) will get a bag of this tea FREE.  Just click ChipIn! to the right and give your gift.  We'll contact you with arrangements (including choosing what kind you'd like to try).

Photo of the Day: Cabinets are finished!

The cabinets were finished on Saturday at 2:45pm.  There are already some flowers on the counter from some lovely Overflow supporters, including our insurance agent.  :)

Photo of the Day: Coffee Brewer

This is Tim Taylor from Coffee Ambassadors (our coffee supplier) with our new coffee brewer!
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Photos of the Day: Counters and Art

The counters are on top of the cabinets and the hand-washing sink is in.  They'll be totally finished tomorrow.
Artists are hanging some art on the walls.

Photo of the Day: SNOW!

We're working from home today.  This is the view out our bedroom window overlooking the South Loop School from Clark Street at 11:26am.  Normally we can see all the way to the lake (in between the buildings).  It would've been a good day to sell coffee and espresso drinks to all the South Loopers who aren't going into work...

Our Neighbor: Daystar Center

One of our neighbors at 1550 S. State is the Daystar Center.  We thought you might like to get to know them. 

A new educational and cultural hub is opening in the South Loop.  The Daystar Center, located at 1550 South State, will provide a variety of activities for people of all ages.  Beginning March 7, classes, lessons, and special events will be offered in music, arts, crafts, dance, film, languages and yoga.  All are invited to an Open House on February 26th at 10am.  During the open house, the music teachers will perform a concert and attendees can try out mini-sample classes.

According to Executive Director Steve Vryhof, the Center is designed to make a difference by making connections – between generations, between people and ideas, between groups and institutions, between needs and resources.  The specifics of programming, says Vryhof, will be determined by public interest and participation as the new Center grows and develops.

The Center is also a venue for professional development, offering courses, conferences, lectures, and workshops in areas such as education, business, and counseling. The Center partners with other nonprofit organizations at 1550 South State to make their building an anchor in the neighborhood for the enrichment of community life.

For more information, visit the website, call the Daystar Center at 312 647-0001, or email the Center at  Room rentals are available for groups small or large.
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