Closure of Breakfast Culture Club leaves a coffee-shaped hole in Santa Barbara

John Kiser, Staff Writer

Treasured coffee shop and art gallery “Breakfast Culture Club” in downtown Santa Barbara has recently been closed. This establishment for aspiring artists and coffee connoisseurs alike was reflected the passion of the owner, Morgan Maassen. He displayed the work of talented up-and-comers from painting to photography near the inside couch seating. There, regulars would absorb various media of artwork and sip on their favorite coffee beverages. 

According to past employee and Westmont junior Kat Delaney, “The ethos is clear at Breakfast,” she comments, as “everything reflected Morgan’s style and aesthetic from the outdoor ping-pong table to the photography inside.” To serious coffee drinkers, the way beans are grown and sourced is of paramount ethical importance. Delaney says that everything that Breakfast produced is organic. Since 2015, Breakfast had been using Coava Coffee Roasters beans, a company based out of Portland, Oregon. They used “high scoring green coffee” to make consistent, flavorful batches. 

Not only did the coffee have customers turning into regulars, but the atmosphere also enticed a younger crowd. Westmont sophomore Amanda Keelin remarked “there were college nights at Breakfast that would go on at 11 p.m.,” which brought in students from Westmont and UCSB. Amidst this lively environment, Kat Delaney revealed that Morgan Maassen had been touched by the close-knit community around the store. The closing led to many heartfelt letters of genuine appreciation for the company’s years of service and consistent hospitality. 

Coffee unifies a vast assembly of customers. New digs of styles and trends emerge through controlled patterns of chaotic latte art, and a cozy appeal lures both coffee and non-coffee folk. 

Rising momentum and raving customers have shown the emergence of local roastery Low Pigeon, which some of Santa Barbara loves. Since this past fall, Westmont students have flocked to Low Pigeon for the array of coffee drinks and ample outdoor seating. Apart from the fact they roast their own beans and source them to other shops in town, the bird company also sponsors “pop-ups” in Santa Barbara. 

Keelin says, “The pop-ups happen once a week and pair coffee with different foods.” The shop’s unique culture attracts a wider customer base and invites people to enjoy the beautiful weather.  

In addition to Low Pigeon’s weekly gatherings, the staff is known to be accommodating in their service. Lina Reid, a coffee enthusiast and sophomore at Westmont, says, “I think sometimes in coffee culture the baristas can make coffee seem inaccessible.” She added, “The baristas [at Low Pigeon] are so kind, and make my day every time.” Indeed it appears that fresh on the market Low Pigeon Coffee Roasters is making an impressionable stature in local community. 

Coffee is a daily necessity for many. Habitual caffeine trips in order to obtain the warm, unifying substance can stack up money-wise, so the brand has options for those especially on a budget in school. Reid adds, “The price point is amazing: you can’t beat a flavorful pour-over for $3,”  This is your standard but quality cup of coffee served in the pour-over method; it combines a funnel filtration system with a vessel ready underneath. To supplement the traditional specialty black coffee, Amanda Keelin says there is more than one option if you choose milk: “Oat milk and whole milk are offered, but the oat milk is no extra fee which is nice.”   

As old patrons of Breakfast Culture Club strike out new ground, their choices for consistent and friendly service will be sufficiently fulfilled. Hope for coffee-cravers and community-builders lives on.