New owner, Abbi Kafer, puts her heart into every aspect of The Soap Co. Coffee House
By Olivia Clemons
Almost everyone wants a place to feel comfortable and welcomed. The new owner of The Soap Co. Coffee House, Abbi Kafer, is making that space possible right here in Jacksonville.
After saving for two years, Kafer decided to buy the business in June 2022. “Being determined to learn how to do it the right way [own and run the business] and get even better would be one of my proudest achievements, and once I learned what the bare minimum was, I was able to do better,” says Kafer.
Determination and hard work are something Kafer knows all too well. “I started working here as a barista around seven years ago and have worked very hard to make this place somewhere everyone feels comfortable,” she says.
Walking in, you can immediately sense the love embedded in everything. From the front counter to the lounge areas, you can understand the happiness is not just from the coffee. Kafer’s heart goes into everything she does at The Soap Co.:“This place is basically my life. In that way, I wanted to create a particular judgment-free environment.”
She says, “Listening to my mom sing at open mic events at coffee shops growing up really set the tone for how I wanted this place to feel. I want to make everyone feel the same way and [know] that musicians and singers will have the same opportunities.” Periodically, local musicians come and perform on The Soap Co. stage.
Kafer is also currently taking strides to make the LGBTQ2+ community feel more visible, understood and safe in this area. Every other Sunday, The Soap Co. hosts a group that focuses on creating a safe environment for LGBTQ2+ youth. Kafer says, “I am proud and humbled that they feel so safe with us, and I want to spread the word more. Eventually, I would love to have a Jacksonville Pride event where everyone can be themselves and not worry about being judged.”
States Kafer, “I have always been raised to love whoever makes you happy and to be confident with yourself.”
Happiness is one of Kafer’s main goals at The Soap Co. She says, “I want people to feel comfortable and happy while they are here.”
If the atmosphere does not do that for you, the coffee and delicious food absolutely will. Reveals Kafer, “My favorite drink changes almost every month, but at the moment it would be a white chocolate, toasted marshmallow red eye with foam on top. It is a really strong and sweet coffee.”
Kafer expresses how she really enjoys creating latte art as well, noting, “ It typically takes up most of my social media feed.” Along with their normal breakfast and lunch menu items, the coffee shop occasionally offers new food items, which get posted on their Facebook page. Patrons may try their delicious sweets while sitting and enjoying a warm cup of coffee — or for non-coffee drinkers, they have fantastic options for you as well.
Kafer has done a fantastic job of making sure there is something for everyone, from the local art in-house that is for sale to the many food and drink options. There is something for everyone at The Soap Co. Coffee House to welcome you back time after time.
The Soap Co. Coffee House is located at 307 S. Sandy St. in downtown Jacksonville. Find them on Facebook by searching “The Soap Co. Coffee House” or “@soapcocoffeehouse.”