In September, BlackHorse Espresso and Bakery added to its herd when a fourth location opened in San Luis Obispo.
Formerly a carpet store, the bright corner space on Los Osos Valley Road near Highway 101 boasts such touches as big picture windows, a dual-sided fireplace and a dog-friendly patio. This new spot joins the stable of the other establishments on lower Broad Street, Foothill Boulevard and BlackHorse at Uptown on Higuera.
Because of their different neighborhoods and clientele, the quartet of coffee shops all have their own distinct personalities, said BlackHorse’s operations manager, Keri Wilmore. However, all of them offer hand-crafted coffee drinks and freshly baked goodies.
The baristas can set you up with everything from a steaming mug of just-brewed coffee, to lattes with an expertly swirled design on top, to caramellos crafted with house-made caramel. If you like what you’re drinking, you can buy the beans to take home. More than a dozen kinds are available, all custom roasted in small batches for BlackHorse.
The majority of the baked goods are made in BlackHorse’s own bakery on Lower Higuera. Fresh batches are loaded up and delivered to each location every morning to ensure flavor and freshness.
The wide range of tempting treats includes biscotti and bear claws, coffee cakes and cupcakes, brownies and bars, turnovers and scones, and about a dozen different flavors of muffins. Customers can also pre-order items such as birthday cakes and holiday pies at any of the coffee shops and pick them up at the location of their choice.
“We’re also working on some more savory items that will be available in the afternoons, and rotating in different items from time to time so our regular customers can try different things,” said Wilmore.
Also, since “there’s a day for everything now,” she’s teaming with bakery manager Matthew Mimmack so all the BlackHorses can have some fun with such events such as National Cherry Turnover Day.
Though the able Mimmack and his talented team bake pretty much everything for the four locations, there are a few items that BlackHorse gets from other companies. For example, the bagels come from House of Bagels, the croissants from SLO Baked and the salads from Taste — all businesses in San Luis Obispo.
“We’re locally owned and operated, and when you’re local, you should act local,” said Tom Brown, who has owned BlackHorse for the past six years. “I had a business in San Luis Obispo for 42 years (Brown’s Shoes), so I have a real commitment to the local community.”