Coffee, color, and cheesy country music define Lawrence’s Yippee Café

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Mike Archibald behind the counter at Yippee Café. // Photo by Kelsey Carls

Yippee Café is anything but your run-of-the-mill coffee shop. The Lawrence-based roasting company draws inspiration from the slingin’ six-stringers of the West, childhood passions for doodles and drawing, and skateboard brands like Shorty’s Skateboards.

The café embraces its goofy, weird, and irreverent persona. The business uses cheesy country music-themed cliches to name their roasts—such as Johnny Cask—loud colors, and vibrant imagery to form a deeper relationship with the company’s subscriber community.

Owner and Roaster Mike Archibald opened Yippee Café in July of 2020 after feeling unsatisfied at his job. Archibald set up a program to provide coffee enthusiasts with a monthly subscription to premium selected, sustainably sourced coffee and some hand-drawn art.

The inspiration from the art ranges from as far as childhood cartoons such as Looney Tunes, skateboard artists like Russ Pope, or personal renditions of famous country singers Lucinda Williams and Jimmy Buffet.

“The feedback from folks has been really fun in the projects we’ve gotten to do because it’s so loose and been really cool and unique. We’ve got like a nice community of folks that are like having fun with it,” says Archibald.

The café values relationships with producers known for “green” coffees. Currently on rotation is the “Blenda Lee” roast—a fruity, fresh-tasting blend with black tea and red fruit tones.

The company especially sets itself apart in its several off-shoot projects—such as partnering with Night Goat Barbecue and Fox and Pearl to create a coffee rub. More recently Yippee Café has ventured into barrel-aged coffee in collaboration with John Brown Underground.

“Once you open this coffee bag, it has that big nose, big energy, it’s really wild. So hopefully, this will be something that we do on repeat,” says Archibald.

Yippee Café is located in East Lawrence at 840 Delaware St. The retail space is currently closed to the public due to COVID-19 concerns. Plans for a coffee and hot tea bar are in place for the spring with a grab-and-go fridge serving cold brew, iced tea, lemonade, and horchata.

Categories: Food & Drink