How Charlotte’s newest coffee shop helps create jobs — and what to order here

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Photo by Katie Toussaint.

Charlotte’s newest coffee shop, Enderly Coffee Co., is now churning out delectable drinks in its soft opening phase in West Charlotte. Under owners Becky and Tony Santoro, the business has been roasting beans since 2012, and will be serving up coffees and pastries during soft opening hours for the remainder of the month.

The most popular item right now: The iced caramel latte.

The most interesting item right now: The Mazagran, a cold brew with lemon. It’s unexpectedly refreshing and slightly sweet. (Order it.)

Enderly Coffee Co.’s new storefront on Tuckaseegee Road. Photo by Katie Toussaint

Their new brick-and-mortar at 2620 Tuckaseegee Road in the Enderly Park neighborhood is easy to spot thanks to bright yellow patio furniture. It’s just beyond FreeMoreWest hotspots like Pinky’s Westside Grill and Rhino Market. And with its bright interior featuring furniture built from reclaimed wood, a kids’ play coffee bar built by a high school refugee group at Project 658 and local art on the walls, it’s easy to fall in love with this new space.

Photo by Katie Toussaint

The Santoros actually fell in love over coffee. They met at Michigan State when they were volunteering through a nonprofit organization on campus and Becky was working at a coffee shop. Tony would drop in when he knew she was there — and they’ve now been married for almost 12 years.

“We were that couple who, when we went out for Italian, we wouldn’t do wine with our dinner,” Tony said. “We would do coffee… It was just the idea, the emotion, of coffee.”

When the two (who are also foster parents) moved to Enderly Park in 2007, they kept seeing their young adult neighbors graduate — or not graduate — from high school without a next step lined up.

As Charlotte-Mecklenburg School teachers at the time, this obvious opportunity gap broke their hearts. They started Enderly Coffee Co., roasting beans to sell in town.

“We started this company as a way to hopefully create some jobs and mentorship in that age,” Tony said. As they sold bags of coffee beans, they donated to QC Family Tree down the road, which works to support youths in the community. (Becky also just helped start Foster Village Charlotte, which has a beer-drinking fundraiser at NoDa Brewing tonight.)

Enderly Coffee started creating jobs. For years, Tony hustled alongside Marquell Pettiford, the co-worker he brought on to the operation, roasting coffee together late into the night after Tony was done teaching for the day.

“He’s kind of been my right-hand man this whole time,” Tony said.

Fast forward to today, and Pettiford is behind the register at the new Enderly Coffe Co. shop as the boss of wholesale operation. A new employee is working at the company’s roastery in the Oakwold neighborhood, and another new and vibrant employee, James Jones III, is operating the sunshine-yellow espresso machine as hospitality facilitator — and soon-to-be manager of the coffee shop.

“I want people to leave with a sense of being — like they belong here — warmth, and good drinks,” Jones said.

Plus, Tony said, “The more coffee we sell, the more jobs we can create.”

And the more deliciousness they can create. Right now, the soft-opening menu features cold drinks like lattes, fruit smoothies, blended coffee concoctions, hot coffees and teas, and pastries. WiFi and retail items like bright yellow coffee mugs and bags of Enderly beans are available as well.

Soft opening menu as of July 14
Soft opening menu as of July 14

More is coming. Over the next year, expect to see small-batch roasting happening here on Tuckaseegee Road with their new roaster (they’ll be playing with high-end, specialty coffees), a grand opening event in August and, possibly, the expansion of the food menu.

In the meantime, sip from the soft opening menu of creative options (and chat with Pettiford and Jones if you get the chance).

“To see this happening here is quite emotional,” Tony said. “Like, I’m sitting here having a coffee, and these two guys are here running a coffee shop in Charlotte.”

Visit Enderly Coffee Co.

2620 Tuckaseegee Road

Soft opening hours: 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday for the remainder of July.

Note: You will also still be able to find and buy bags of Enderly beans (and cups of coffee) at retail spots like ROOTS Cafe and Rhino Market.

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