Sparrow Specialty Coffee sees upsurge of customers, revenue after location change

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Reese Fisher, junior in management information systems, takes a customer's order. Fisher said his favorite part about Sparrow, other than the coffee, is the people he meets while working. (Madison Jahnke | Collegian Media Group)

Sparrow Specialty Coffee, a local Christian-based coffee shop, has experienced an increase in both customer traffic and revenue since its recent move from downtown to 1437 Anderson Ave.

The new Sparrow location officially opened its doors on Feb. 5, continuing its sales of pour-over coffee, loose-leaf teas and café-style food options. The coffee shop’s updated location now offers a capacity of 50 and a room that patrons can reserve as a meeting space or a study location in addition to its slow bar specialty style of coffee.

“It’s been an unbelievable move for the business because we’re right smack-dab in the middle of twenty thousand people nine months out of the year,” said Layne Stafford, Kansas State alumnus and self-proclaimed “barista-extraordinaire.”

Stafford said he’s talked to Manhattan residents who were unaware of the coffee shop’s existence until it’s recent location change.

“You feel like you’re a little bit more in the loop of the busy part of Manhattan,” Stafford said. “There’s more traffic down here.”

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Sparrow Specialty Coffee, now located at 1437 Anderson Ave., provides a study space for students, a reservable room for a meeting space and hosts several live performances throughout the year. (Madison Jahnke | Collegian Media Group)

Like most businesses in Manhattan, Sparrow has experienced a decline in customers over the past couple summer months.

“I think this can be in the same bubble as Aggieville in regard to seeing a change in revenue in the summer months,” Stafford said.

Overall, however, location change has proven successful in terms of an increase in revenue.

“There have been days where the revenue is upwards of three times what it we’d make over there,” said Stafford, referring to Sparrow’s previous location at 4th and Pierre streets, where Pool House Kitchen & Bar is now located.

Students have been credited to the increase in customer traffic at the coffee shop due to the change in location.

“We get more students here than we did at our previous location because they can walk here from campus,” Stafford said.

Some students have differing opinions, though.

“A few students have said they missed Sparrow being down there because they could get away,” Stafford said. “If they’re here, they’ll see people they know and not get anything done.”

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Barista Layne Stafford prepares a cortado using espresso and milk. Sparrow features slow bar style pour-over coffee, loose-leaf teas and food options. (Madison Jahnke | Collegian Media Group)

Reese Fisher, junior in management information systems, said he was first drawn to Sparrow for the coffee, but his favorite part about the shop is the people.

“I’m a huge people person,” Fisher said. “I love the community that comes in. There are those people who want to talk for hours, and it’s amazing to hear people’s stories, and just get to know them.

“I’m an anthropology minor, so I love all the different cultures, not only Christian-based-coffee-shop-wise, but seeing where different people’s backgrounds come from gives an outlook of ‘How can we introduce Christ to them?’ if we please,” Fisher continued.

The goal of the coffee shop, according to Sparrow’s website, is to “connect people with the love of Christ. We do this by focusing on community. Giving each and every person a place to belong and feel welcome allows a conversation a chance to begin, grow, and thrive.”

Sparrow’s mission is to “create community and conversation,” which the business hopes to do through a cup of coffee and a partnership with the Church of the Nazarene.

“They want to be a ministry first for people,” Stafford said. “To be a place where ministry can happen, whether it’s that other ministries on campus can use the space, or they can minister to people.”

Sparrow is currently open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, Saturdays 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and is closed Sundays.

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