Coffee, color and cheesy country music define Lawrence’s Yippee Café

Mike Archibald behind the Yippee Café counter. // Photo by Kelsey Carls

Yippee Cafe is anything but your ordinary coffee. The Lawrence-based roasting company is inspired by the six strings of the West, childhood passions for doodling and drawing, and skateboarding brands like Shorty’s Skateboards.

The Yippee Café embraces his goofy, quirky, and irreverent personality. The company uses cheesy country music-themed cliches to name its roasts, like Johnny Cask, bright colors and vibrant imagery to build a deeper connection with the company’s subscriber community.

Owner and roaster Mike Archibald opened Yippee Café in July 2020 after feeling dissatisfied with his job. Archibald has set up a program to offer coffee lovers a monthly subscription to selected, sustainably sourced premium coffee and hand-drawn artwork.

Art inspiration ranges from childhood cartoons such as Looney Tunes, skateboard artists like russ pope, or personal interpretations of famous country singers Lucinda Williams and Jimmy Buffet.

“People’s feedback has been really fun in the projects we’ve had to do because it’s so loose and it was really cool and unique. We have like a nice community of people who like to have fun with it” said Archibald.

The cafe values ​​relationships with producers known for “green” coffees. Currently in rotation is the “Blenda Lee” roast, a fresh-tasting fruity blend with black tea and red fruit tones.

The company stands out above all for its numerous spin-off projects, such as the partnership with Night Goat and Fox and Pearl Barbecue to create a coffee rub. More recently, Yippee Café has ventured into barrel-aged coffee in collaboration with John Brown Metro.

“Once you open that bag of coffee, it has this big nose, this big energy, it’s really wild. So hopefully it’s something that we kind of do on repeat,” Archibald says.

Yippee Café is located in East Lawrence at 943 New York Street in Lawrence. The retail space is currently closed to the public due to COVID-19 concerns. Plans for a cafe and hot tea bar are in place for spring with a to-go fridge serving cold brew, iced tea, lemonade and horchata.

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