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Yorkville’s Iconic Coffee Shop epitomizes good taste, Shaw Local

YORKVILLE – Laura Intrain is making her mark in downtown Yorkville with a new business that showcases her passion for good coffee and customer service.

Iconic Coffee Shop, 109 S. Bridge St., opened late last month in the Riverside Plaza building, which is being renovated by development firm The Williams Group.

The upscale location in the heart of the historic downtown business district is already attracting a loyal following of customers looking for a latte, espresso or just a cuppa joe.

The shop features not only coffee drinks, but also teas, yogurt parfaits and a variety of pastries that Intrain bakes herself.

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Intrain, of Yorkville, has more than 20 years of experience in the restaurant and coffee shop businesses.

“I’ve always wanted to open my own coffee shop, but I felt like I needed to get experience first,” Intrain said.

Getting the best supply of coffee beans is important, but knowing how to brew a good cup of coffee is both a science and an art.

“If you don’t know how to use your equipment, it doesn’t really matter,” Intrain said. “There are a lot of small changes and learning that is very important.”

While Intrain says its customers will enjoy making the drinks, good customer service is key to keeping people coming back.

“I want this to be a welcoming, inviting place,” Intrain said. “I want people to be comfortable where they are, like a home away from home,” he said.

Indeed, the renovated space inside the building is bathed in natural light that pours through the large painted widows overlooking Route 47.

Seating for more than 20 people can be found at the main counter, a pair of glass tables next to the windows, and an intimate conversation corner.

Intrain sources its coffee from a local roaster in Geneva.

“Beans are very balanced,” Intrain said. “Not too sweet.”

Intrain has a scientific basis that lends precision to its coffee-making and culinary skills.

For many years, Intrain worked as a microbiologist in a laboratory, performing tests on food to meet US Department of Agriculture standards.

But the appeal of serving customers in restaurants and cafes was greater than working in a laboratory.

“I just wasn’t passionate about the lab,” Intrain said. “I like serving people and making something that makes them happy.”

This includes scones, croissants, cookies, muffins, banana bread, pumpkin bread and other baked goods. There’s always at least one item from the oven for vegans, Intrain said. Other specialties include avocado toast and oatmeal.

Intrain also creates its own flavored syrups, such as pumpkin spice, for espresso drinks.

“The seasonal syrups I make at home,” Intrain said. “It sets my store apart from other stores.”

Intrain said many of his coffee-loving customers like their favorite beverage made using the pour-over method, rather than using the more conventional drip brewer.

Pour-over takes longer to brew, resulting in more flavor from the coffee.

Espressos and lattes are also popular with new Intrain customers at the cafe.

“I got a traditional vibe,” Intrain said.

Intrain has a talent for drawing and designed the logo for his new cafe.

Intrain looks to timeless stars like Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Marlon Brando and Humphrey Bogart as cultural icons, drawing on them and others as inspiration for the iconic coffee.

He starts naming his “iconic drinks” after these stars.

For example, the Marilyn Monroe Almond Milk Latte with fun hints of vanilla, lavender and almond.

Intrain employs four baristas, including Julie Schimpf of North Aurora.

Schimpf and Intrain worked together a few years ago at a coffee shop in North Aurora and stayed in touch. When Intrain decided to open Iconic, Schimpf jumped at the chance.

“I call her mom,” Schimpf said of Intrain.

“I’m his work mom,” Intrain chimed in.

The two women work non-stop to prepare the drinks and serve their customers and seem to be able to predict each other’s movements.

“The flow of any new coffee shops is going to be different, but we haven’t had to figure everything out,” Intrain said.

The Iconic Coffee Shop is open daily from 7am to 4pm.

Iconic Coffee Shop is located at 109 S. Bridge St.  in downtown Yorkville.  The shop is open every day from 7 am to 4 pm.