MoKaBe’s Coffeehouse, Defying the Odds During COVID-19 and Working With the STL Partnership

Image of the outside of MokaBe's coffeehouse
Maureen Costello (4th, left) and guests at MoKaBe's Coffeehouse

Maureen Costello (4th, left) and guests at MoKaBe’s Coffeehouse

MoKaBe’s Coffeehouse is defying the odds during COVID-19 and has worked with the STL Partnership to secure a Small Business Resource Loan to help sustain their business.

Owner Maureen Costello described the process of working with the STL Partnership. “The application was simple and the loan was secured in two weeks,” said Costello. “With the help we were able to pay our employee health insurance premium and utilities and we appreciate that.”

MoKaBe’s Coffeehouse is located in South City across from the historic Tower Grove Park. The business was founded in 1992 by three women, Maureen Costello, Kathy Carmody and Becky Brown. The name MoKaBe’s comes from the first two letters of the founders names. The concept was to establish a space for the community to gather and connect. “For over 25 years we have provided space for the gay community, families, students and elders,” said Costello. “Our customer base is as diverse as our beautiful city of St Louis.”

Chocolate coconut latte and chocolate mint latte

Chocolate coconut latte and chocolate mint latte (photo courtesy of MoKaBe’s Coffeehouse)

House made veggie burger

House made veggie burger (photo courtesy of MoKaBe’s Coffeehouse)

Vegan breakfast burrito and home style potatoes

Vegan breakfast burrito and home style potatoes (photo courtesy of MoKaBe’s Coffeehouse)

The unique coffeehouse specializes in savory breakfast and lunch items paired with delicious specialty drinks including coffees and lattes. Delectable vegan options are also available.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, changes were necessary to continue to operate.

“We quickly pivoted from a full service coffeehouse to curbside, no contact and pickup only. Our hours and staff have also been reduced,” said Costello. “MoKaBe’s Coffeehouse will continue to assess the safest path forward for our employees and customers as we contemplate our future of offering dine-in services.”

Signs offering pickup and curbside service.

Signs offering pickup and curbside service. (photo courtesy of MoKaBe’s Coffeehouse)

“I think it’s important for people to know that small, independent businesses like MoKaBe’s Coffeehouse are a vital piece of the fabric of our neighborhoods and communities.”

Costello also recognizes the effects of what the COVID-19 pandemic has had on her business. However, continuing to grow is still a priority. “COVID-19 will impact our businesses for months and months. We are doing a month to month financial projection to access our needs which is helping also,” said Costello. “These are uncharted times but we are optimistic about moving forward.”

For more information about MoKaBe’s Coffeehouse, visit their website here.