While Kirksville has many locally owned businesses, a coffee shop is not one of them. Zaida and Riley Stange want to change that with the Kirksville Brewing Company.
Zaida founded the Kirkville Brewing Company in 2022. Riley does the brewing, and their business partner, Anthony Young, does the marketing and graphic design. Currently, the company serves cold brew and kombucha with all organic ingredients. Riley said they are working on getting their liquor and brewery license.
When Zaida and Riley moved from Portland, Oregon, to Kirksville, they noticed a need for coffee shops, breweries and organic food, so they decided to bring that to the Kirksville community. Zaida said they formed the company with the idea that places like coffee shops and breweries bring a true sense of community.
“When we moved here a year and a half ago, we were just like, where’s the kombucha on tap, where’s the craft beer?” Zaida said. “There’s no brewery in town, and we were like, wow, this is very different.”
While Zaida and Riley have enjoyed their experience building the company, it did not come without challenges. Riley said sometimes recipes they have high hopes for don’t meet their expectations, but he enjoys tweaking recipes and trying new techniques to get the best product. Riley said talking with customers to see what they enjoy has helped the process.
Zaida and Riley both said offering cold brew and kombucha is important because they want to give an organic option to the Kirksville community.
“Being able to offer something that is healthy, that you know you buy the best quality ingredients … [is] something you really can’t find in Kirksville,” Zaida said. “It just makes me feel good.”
The company participated in the farmers market during the summer of 2022, selling cold brew and kombucha. According to Riley, seeing people enjoy their products brought a sense of satisfaction, so they hope to return again next summer.
Riley said kombucha was a new experience for many in the Kirksville community. Getting people to try it was a small challenge he had to overcome, but he said many people enjoyed it. Or, if they had tried kombucha previously, they said that it was the only kombucha they had enjoyed.
“When we did the Farmers’ Market last year, we got a very good response from the people passing through there, and a lot of students from Truman [State University] and [A.T. Still University] were very happy to see us,” Riley said.
On the company’s website, you can schedule a pick-up for the different products they offer. Their kombucha flavors change weekly.
Currently, the company does not have a physical location but is looking into various options. They hope to keep growing and create a physical place where people can sit down and enjoy their products.
Another goal for the company is to obtain a liquor and brewing license to add beer to the products they serve.
An upcoming project for the company is using an investment platform called Mainvest. This platform allows people to invest in the company to help it grow and see a return on those investments once the business starts making profits.
Riley and Zaida said interacting with the Kirksville community is always exciting and brings them joy.
“We envision a place where students could stay all day long and study and hang out and have their favorite drink,” Riley said. “Just a place that feels comfortable and inviting.”