O&A Coffee now brews at Lakewood Ranch’s Waterside Place

Justin Banister, 39, founded O&A Coffee and Supply in 2015 as a mobile sidewalk bar in downtown Sarasota, serving his beers in a unique, friendly and conversational way.

O&A, short for “around”, refers to the ability to move from Main Street to a farmer’s market, demystifying the pretensions that have grown around a good cup of coffee.

“Coffee is a humble drink and should be served as such. In Ethiopia, they call coffee the drink of memories, ”Banister said.

This is not to say that coffee cannot be complex or satisfying, but that it can be the bridge to a friendly conversation with the bartender and others enjoying a similar drink.

“You should have the connection with the person making the coffee, a sense of belonging. This is what coffee has always done for me, ”Banister said.

In 2019, just months before the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, Banister opened its first brick and mortar coffee shop on Sarasota’s Main Street.

Though the timing was bad, Banister was able to weather the pandemic without having to fire anyone and recently opened his second coffee shop at Lakewood Ranch’s Waterside Place.

The new café at 1570 Lakefront Drive, Unit 102, is located at the south end of a building shared with the Good Liquid Brewing Company and overlooks Kingfisher Lake. This week, guests enjoyed alfresco coffee under the grand pavilion overlooking the waterfront.

Among them were friends Talia Famiglio and Alexy Dashner, who sat on a sofa under the pavilion.

“There is always a warm environment and they are great people. It is a comfortable space. They always remember my drink: an almond latte with a little honey, “Familio said.

Dashner praised the baristas for their coffee-making skills and said she also likes O&A because it’s a local company.

Banister makes it a priority to have an easy and friendly conversation with customers to learn what they want in a coffee shop.

O&A’s menu – Banister calls it a suggestion board – this week listed beers, espresso, latte, tea, chais, hot chocolate and more, along with sandwiches, pastries, and a few items of clothing, including shirts, hats and bags.

“We work directly with all of our farmers and make sure they earn a fair living,” says Banister of his coffee purchases from around the world.

Banister buys from coffee growers in Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Burundi in Africa, as well as from growers in Central America and South America.

Since coffee is a fruit, it is not always in season in which it is grown. Coffee bought from a single source wouldn’t be fresh all year round, he said.

Roasts from O&A are high quality coffees from small farms and from all over the world.

The O&A is open from 7am to 4pm seven days a week, and thereafter on days when Waterside Place hosts special events. The business is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

For more information visit oandacoffee.com or the store’s Instagram account. https://www.instagram.com/oandacoffee/

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Justin Banister, shown above on Sept. 20, 2022, founded O&A Coffee and Supply in 2015 as a mobile bar. In addition to the mobile bar, he now has a coffee shop in downtown Sarasota and recently opened a coffee shop in downtown Waterside Place on Lakewood Ranch. James A. Jones Jr. jajones1@bradenton.com
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Justin Banister founded O&A Coffee and Supply in 2015 as a mobile bar. In addition to the mobile bar, he now has a coffee shop in downtown Sarasota and recently opened a coffee shop, shown above on September 2nd. 20, 2022, in the center of Lakewood Ranch’s Waterside Place at 1570 Lakefront Drive, Unit 102. James A. Jones Jr. jajones1@bradenton.com

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Justin Banister founded O&A Coffee and Supply in 2015 as a mobile bar. In addition to the mobile bar, he now has a coffee shop in downtown Sarasota and recently opened a coffee shop in downtown Waterside Place of the Lakewood Ranch at 1570 Lakefront Drive, 102 unit. Lake Kingfisher, shown September 20, 2022. James A. Jones Jr. jajones1@bradenton.com

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O&A Coffee and Supply recently opened in downtown Waterside Place, Lakewood Ranch, at 1570 Lakefront Drive, Unit 102, next to Good Liquid Brewing, shown above on September 2nd. 20, 2022. James A. Jones Jr. jajones1@bradenton.com

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