On Fifth and Green streets stands a small, quaint chocolate shop class that offers both a classic coffee menu featuring craftsman drinks and a space for repose studying that University students are always taking advantage of .
The place, of path, is Brew Lab. Harry Alexander Krigel, the store ’ s cosmopolitan director, said he found out about Brew Lab the way most people discover their darling coffee shops .
“ I happened to stumble across Brew Lab on Fifth and Green, and I kept on going back, ” Krigel said. “ I ’ m like, ‘ OK, this chocolate is amazing. I love the environment. ’ And I saw how things could be improved there. ”
nowadays, Krigel is the general coach not only of Brew Lab but of its sister memory Bake Lab, tucked in the lobby of Gather Illinois. Bake Lab formally opened on Aug. 30, and Krigel said the shop is the product out of five-star pastry chef Stacy Shi ’ s dream to own a set like Bake Lab. Tim Chao, owner of Brew Lab and Bake Lab, saw Shi ’ second dream and decided to make that dream come true as best he could, Krigel said .
“ He in truth wanted to see her dream come to life about, you know, just showcasing these beautiful pastries and combining it with his coffee concepts, ” Krigel said .
Krigel said the teamwork between him, Shi and Chao is what made Bake Lab possible since Krigel was able to take on the duty of lease and trail of both stores so Shi and Chao could set up the kitchen and influence with Gather .
But all this shape paid off. Bake Lab has been received incredibly well by the community, already having a 5-star rate on Google after being open for less than two weeks .
“ Our sales at the new location are already matching our other placement, and it ’ s equitable very taken off, ” Krigel said .
What is it about Bake Lab that already has so many customers lining up to check it out ? possibly it ’ s the store ’ s prized oatmeal cookie caffe latte or Shi ’ s matcha red bean cakes .
Or possibly Bake Lab ’ s appeal is its personable staff, which Krigel said he thinks in truth sets Bake Lab apart from other bakeries and chocolate shops .
“ I took my fourth dimension hiring the mighty people, ” Krigel said. “ They have that spark. You want to talk to them, and they want to talk to you, and they ’ ra big listeners. ”
Krigel said this is significant to him because he doesn ’ triiodothyronine want customers to feel like the employees don ’ t want to be there or are just there to sell products rather than foster an authentic employee-customer know. He said one of the ways his customers do this is by not relying on a handwriting when speaking to customers .
“ They ’ rhenium not going to be like, ‘ Oh, yes, you have to try our oatmeal cookie caffe latte because, you know, like, I ’ ve got to sell 500 a day, ’ ” Krigel said. “ No, it ’ s because, you know, the oatmeal cookie caffe latte is the best blasted drink that you ’ ve always had. ”
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Krigel besides said Bake Lab uses both high quality equipment and ingredients, like a La Marzocco espresso machine and Rishi tea. He says the investment in these types of things leads to high quality beverages for customers .
“ It truly does separate us because when you go and taste these other beverages at other places, it ’ s like, it tastes burned or it tastes dense or possibly not properly steamed, ” Krigel said .
But at Bake Lab, customers can expect an experience free of those hiccups since Krigel both has high standards for products and trains the staff carefully therefore that all drinks are the best they can possibly be .
Though Bake Lab barely opened, Krigel said he has some big plans for the store, like potentially hosting brewed chocolate workshops where customers can learn how to properly brew coffee or correctly use a french crusade .
Krigel said bringing the community into Bake Lab and Brew Lab and actually connecting with them is significant to him. He besides said he regularly visits other coffee shops and is good friends with other local anesthetic chocolate business owners .
Krigel besides said he hopes to add to the community, besides, in whatever way he can .
“ I was talking with one of my baristas the early day, where I ’ m like, ‘ OK, well, it ’ s like, I ’ thousand homosexual, ’ and I look at the area, and I ’ thousand barely like, ‘ OK, well, we don ’ t have bars, like, we don ’ t have a lot of representation in our neighborhoods, ’ ” Krigel said .
He besides said he hopes to host designate nights at the stores for fagot folks in the sphere to show hold and let the community know that Bake Lab and Brew Lab are safe spaces for everyone .
But in the interim, Krigel suggests that visitors take advantage of Bake Lab ’ s cozy atmosphere, particularly the shop ’ s leather booth seats .
“ You have to sit in those leather booth seats, ” he said. “ It ’ s so freakin ’ comfortable, and plus, it ’ randomness beautiful. It looks like West Elm and New York City had a chocolate baby. ”
Bake Lab is located at 410 N. Lincoln Ave. in Urbana and is open from 7 ante meridiem to 6 post meridiem every day.
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