By Abby Cloud | Photo: Argonaut Coffee
Tallahassee coffee lovers, you’re in luck! A new coffee shop is arriving soon and it’ll be a must-add to your weekly coffee routine. Earlier this summer, Jason McArthur brought Argonaut Coffee to life and is excited for Tallahassee’s newest coffee shop to open later this year. The Tally Wire spoke with McArthur about his new business to get you all the information you need to know about its grand opening.
Jason McArthur’s interest in opening his own coffee shop came gradually. He worked at RedEye Coffee’s Midtown location for 6 years as a barista, and had maintained a leadership position for a year and a half, so he was more than familiar with the craft of coffee and the management required to run a coffee business.
A few years ago, he had a conversation with his friend, Dr. Aaron Guyer of Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic, about the fate of a coffee kiosk located in the main clinic. “Dr. Guyer mentioned that some local coffee shops were placing bids for a kiosk at their main clinic,” McArthur recalls.
While any ideas of bringing a new coffee shop to TOC ceased at the time, McArthur decided recently that it was time to take on another challenge. “I toyed with the possibility of returning to school to get a master’s or P.H.D., but several years of pursuing 2 separate undergrad degrees left me feeling less than thrilled about the prospect of more school,” he confesses. This is when he remembered the conversation with Dr. Guyer and decided that he wanted to press forward with creating his own coffee business.
Shortly after he left RedEye, McArthur reached back out to Dr. Guyer to make this a reality. “For me, the challenge of starting a small business and running my own store was something that had grown more appealing to me during my leadership role,” McArthur explains. “This opportunity seems too good to pass up.”
After beginning some plans for his new business this past summer, McArthur looked to Greek mythology as inspiration for the coffee shop’s title. “As a child, I was obsessed with Greek mythology, but I especially enjoyed the story of Jason and the Argonauts,” McArthur explained.
Setting his childhood dreams of having a band called “Jason and the Argonauts” aside, McArthur knew this was the perfect chance to use the Greek myth reference. “Unfortunately, my musical talent is incredibly lacking, and at 30-years-old, I have to face the fact that a band probably isn’t in the cards,” he jokes. “This is the best I can do to satisfy the dreams of my youth.”
Argonaut Coffee’s mission is to perfect and demonstrate top-notch customer service through their excellent staff and quality products. Being located in TOC’s main clinic, they are in a high-traffic area. “We have the unique position of being in a place where upwards of a thousand people are already going to be every day, so we don’t necessarily have to worry about getting people to stop by a new storefront,” McArthur explains. “Our focus instead can solely be to give people the kind of quality you would expect at a real coffee shop while still providing the efficiency and convenience of a kiosk.”
He hopes that staff and patients of TOC, as well as anyone who drops by from outside the clinic, are blown away with the service and products provided. Argonaut Coffee will start with a full coffee, espresso, and tea menu, as well as breakfast, pastries, and dessert supplied by local bakeries, Three Sons Bakery and Tasty Pastry.
They will include a variety of dairy choices and several non-dairy options, as well as vegan and gluten-free food items. Some drinks that are already being advertised is The Golden Fleece, a latte sweetened with honey and lavender, and Aphrodite, four Cuban-style shots and steamed half and half.
A unique way that this new coffee shop will stand out amongst its peers is by bringing Panther Coffee, a roaster located in Miami, to the Capital City. “There are several great roasters in Tallahassee and the surrounding areas,” McArthur notes. “But, we wanted to serve something that you can’t find anywhere else in Tallahassee, while still serving beans from a Floridian roaster.”
The grand opening is quickly approaching, and McArthur is grateful for this opportunity. “I just want to thank everyone at TOC for being so helpful as we work towards opening the kiosk, but especially Dr. Guyer for believing in me and my vision,” McArthur expresses. He additionally thanks Wayne Mayo and the crew at Southern Standard Construction for their patience and guidance for the kiosk’s design and build. Finally, McArthur thanks his roots: “I wouldn’t be so confident I could do this without the experience I gained from my time at RedEye, and the support I received from them in pursuing this venture.”
Argonaut Coffee is set to open later this year, so be on the lookout for any updates on their social media! To read more about this new coffee shop, you can visit their website here or follow their Instagram and Facebook for more details on what to expect.