Restaurant News & Reviews

SLO Creamery’s newest addition serves up coffee and cocktail mixers

WithCo Coffee opened in the Creamery Marketplace in San Luis Obispo in late January.
WithCo Coffee opened in the Creamery Marketplace in San Luis Obispo in late January.

Thirsty? A coffee shop serving up premium espresso beverages and house-roasted coffee is now open in the Creamery Marketplace in San Luis Obispo.

WithCo Coffee, which also sells tea, spritzes and cocktail mixers, opened at 570 Higuera St., Suite No. 190, in late January.

The business, located in a roughly 450-square-foot commercial space, is a partnership between three men in their 20s: Rydian Searles, Walker Sotello and M. Farid Shahid.

Shahid and Sotello are partners in Sotello and Shahid Real Estate Group at Richardson Properties, while Searles said Sotello and he have been close friends since childhood, growing up together in San Luis Obispo County.

Searles, a 23-year-old San Luis Obispo native, is the head of operations of WithCo Coffee.

“We’re catering to people on the go as well as people who want to hang out and enjoy coffee,” Searles said. “We have a standup bar and will have a lot of outdoor patio seating when the weather is good, so people can sit outside and enjoy their drinks.”

WithCo Coffee opened in the Creamery in SLO last week. Addison Searles

Searles said that the Creamery complex, which was renovated in 2018, is attractive to businesses like WithCo offers relatively affordable rent prices for a downtown location and proximity to other types of services and eateries, he said. (Searles declined to say how much rent WithCo pays.)

Creamery Marketplace tenants include Nite Creamery ice cream shop, Mama’s Meatball, Goshi Sushi and Bikram Yoga San Luis Obispo.

WithCo’s name is an abbreviation for “with company” as in, drinking coffee with company.

WithCo gets its roasted coffee from an Oakland-based producer, also called WithCo, in partnership with Searles’ brother. The San Luis Obispo coffee shop sources its espresso from a Santa Cruz company, Verve Coffee Roasters.

Nashville-based company WithCo Cocktails, operated by Searles’ sister and brother-in-law, supplies non-alcoholic cocktail mixers for sale some of which are used in the coffee drinks.

Currently, Searles and his cousin, Lauryn Searles, run the day-to-day business of WithCo Coffee. Rydian Searles is a bartender at Ember restaurant in Arroyo Grande.

WithCo Coffee is open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Rydian Searles said the coffee shop plans to eventually hold longer business hours and hire new employees to take advantage of the foot traffic from neighboring businesses that cater to a later crowd. Spike’s Pub, Cider Bar SLO and La Esquina Taqueria are all located nearby.

“We’ll hire more as we expand our hours,” Searles said. “The Creamery gets busy at night and we’d like to expand to night shift as well. But right now, we’re making sure things are perfected the way we’d like them to be.”

A space that remains unoccupied in the Creamery complex is the former Foremost Wine Co. spot; that company closed Aug. 30.

Another business, Joliene Bakery, is “coming soon” according to the Creamery Marketplace website.

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Nick Wilson covers the city of San Luis Obispo and has been a reporter at The Tribune in San Luis Obispo since 2004. He also writes regularly about K-12 education, Cal Poly, Morro Bay and Los Osos. He is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and UC Berkeley and is originally from Ojai.