Editor’s note: This month’s Business Beacon is a spotlight on East Pass Coffee Co., an all-day cafe that puts a creative twist on traditional items including craft coffee, breakfast, lunch, local beer and wine. Co-owner Mackenzie Destin talks to us about a larger menu, thoughtfully designed green space for children and pets and new libations for all to enjoy. Find East Pass Coffee Co. on the web, Facebook and Instagram.
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1. How did you get the idea or concept for your business?
MD: All three owners had been in the restaurant industry for a while and my parents had just gotten into the coffee business. In an effort to do something on our own, we actually started as a small coffee trailer on the harbor!
2. Let’s discuss numbers: What year did you open? How many locations do you have? How many people do you employ?
MD: We opened the trailer in 2018, our first brick-and-mortar in 2020 and our newest and bigger location in 2024. We currently have one location with 15 employees.
3. What do you sell or what service do you provide? What’s your best seller?
MD: We are a coffee shop with a full breakfast and lunch menu! For coffee our sweet cream vanilla cold brew is our best-seller, for breakfast our breakfast sandwich and for lunch our harvest bowl.
4. What’s unique about what you do or offer?
MD: We are a neighborhood cafe that caters to the locals!
5. How would you describe your business to a potential customer?
MD: Quaint, family-friendly restaurant in the heart of Destin.
6. What do you love most about your line of work?
MD: Our regulars who come in every morning.
7. What sorts of trends are you seeing in your industry?
MD: Smaller creative menus, made from scratch.
8. Tell me in just a sentence or two what you feel sets you apart from your competitors.
MD: Our team makes our cafe feel like home to every customer who walks through the door.
9. Who or what inspires you? This could be a family member or celebrity, a particular quote or even a book/movie/podcast. The sky’s the limit!
MD: Our families.
10. What’s the best thing about being a part of the Emerald Coast, personally and/or professionally?
MD: The community!
11. Are you/your business involved in the community in any way? Volunteering or giving back? If so, how?
MD: We donate to the schools when they’re fundraising. Looking forward to doing more this year!
12. What does a typical day in your business look like? (Pretend it’s Monday (or Friday!) and take me through the highlights of your day.)
MD: Our team gets there at 7 a.m. to get all of the coffee and food started and then we wait for friendly faces to come through the door until 3 p.m.!
13. What’s your best “insider tip?” (This could be a community tip for vacationers or homeowners or even a tip for customers related to your business.)
MD: Lines may be long but they move quickly!
14. How do you recharge or relax when the day is done?
MD: Hanging out with my family.
15. Just the deets, please! Where are you located? Business hours? Social media profiles and/or website links we need to know about? (Please feel free to add social media handles or direct links!)
16. One final question: If there was just one thing you wish the public knew about your business, what would it be?
MD: We are family- and friend-owned and wanted to bring a neighborhood cafe to the community.