A Brewing Atmosphere
Published November 25, 2015
It is no easy thing to enter and succeed in the crowded
coffee shop market of the early 21st Century, but
that’s just what Michael Vaclav and his wife Alison
have done with their four Medici locations.
They began planning their first shop in 2004 and
opened in 2006 on West Lynn. Since that time, coffee
has evolved from a mere caffeine boost to a beverage
one looks to for flavor.
“Customers now want their coffee and espresso to
taste like it smells,” explained Vaclav. “This is still a
young industry and it is now very much tied into the
foodie culture. The old days of getting a caffeine blast
from Folger’s or Maxwell House have given way to
more refined tastes. So, our coffees contain subtle flavorings
like caramel, chocolate and fruits.”
Greater emphasis is now placed on quality ingredients,
too. “There is more interaction between growers and
retailers than there ever was before,” said Vaclav.
While Vaclav is dedicated to the craft of coffee making,
he knows there is much more to a building a successful
coffee shop than providing great coffee.
“I love creating spaces for people,” he said. “We like our
customers to intermingle. We set up our shops to engender
interaction between the customers and as well
as with our baristas.” Interestingly, Vaclav feels each of
their locations has a unique vibe.
"All of our shops have distinctive atmospheres which our staff and customers bring to life," said Vaclav.
Medici’s staff are part of the quality equation as well.
In order to become a barista, staff usually spend two
to three months as a cashier while learning the nuances
of coffee preparation. Because it is both art and
science, Vaclav and his baristas are constantly talking
shop, discussing such particulars as ideal temperatures
So that they can stay focused on the coffee and
espresso, Medici turns to local, outside providers for
its food: The pastries are provided by Texas French
Bread and the sandwiches they serve are prepared by
The Green Cart.
When the Vaclavs needed financing for their latest endeavor,
the new shop at 1100 South Lamar, they turned
to Amplify Credit Union.
“Amplify recommended a consolidation loan and then
made it so easy for that to happen,” said Vaclav. “In our
earlier endeavors, I had to go to various sources for
lines of credit, but with Amplify, I was able to get it all
at one time. It allowed us to hit the ground running.”
The good news for Austin coffee drinkers is that more
Medici locations are on the drawing board and the
good news for Medici is that Amplify Credit Union will
be right there to help make them happen.