Kille x Verve Westside Santa Cruz

By Tomo Taka


Verve Coffee Roasters’ burgeoning empire of cafes just got a bit bigger with the opening of a new concrete and wood outpost in Santa Cruz, California.

The 1,600 sq ft store – a few blocks from the beach – is the brand’s fourth in the city and seventh on the West Coast.

Verve founders Ryan O’Donovan and Colby Barr designed the café’s interiors, looking to channel a ‘bohemian coastal outpost’.

‘We embraced the Northern California headlands feeling of driving up the coast to San Francisco,’ says Barr. ‘When the afternoon arrives, you can smell the salt in the air breeze.’

The structure features a wooden trussed ceiling with skylights that flood the space with natural light. Ducts and pipes have been left exposed and the store’s espresso machine features custom panels designed by artist Jeremiah Kille.

Verve has quickly made a name for itself since its founding in 2007. The brand has also just opened its first international shop in Tokyo’s bustling Shinjuku station. Another shop in San Francisco will follow this summer.


Gear at the new shop includes a 4-group Kees van der Westen espresso machine with custom panels by artist Jeremiah Kille, a longtime Verve collaborator, paired with grinders by Nuova Simonelli, plus equipment from ModbarMahlkonig, and Wilbur Curtis Company. “It’s an all black everything sort of situation,” Verve co-founder Colby Barr told Sprudge. Barr and fellow co-founder Ryan O’Donovan personally developed the cafe’s design, which is modeled on a “coastal outpost vibe”, as per Barr. Think floating plants, macrame, lots of natural light to let the ocean seep in, and a comfy outdoor parklet for the hundreds upon hundreds of nice days the people of Santa Cruz get to enjoy each year.

Parker Batterson