New coffee shop WithCo Coffee opened Jan. 28 in the Creamery Marketplace on Higuera St. with a theme unique to San Luis Obispo.

Unlike the earthy tones and rustic themes of other coffee shops in town, the charcoal black interior and white marble countertops are intended to make customers feel like they have just walked into a coffee shop in Los Angeles or New York, according to owners Rydian Searles and Walker Sotello.

Video by Natalie Young

WithCo Coffee founders and San Luis Obispo natives Searles and Sotello came up with the idea for the shop last summer and just went for it.

“We wanted to do something much more urban and modern,” Sotello said. “We wanted to change the whole aesthetic of what [San Luis Obispo] could be.”

Sofia Clark | Mustang News

The childhood-friends-turned-business-partners said they always had their mind set on opening a business, and this was their first shot.

“We both love coffee, and we had been around it for a while now,” Searles said. “It was our first kind of adventure for us.”

The name WithCo is short for With Company and ties to the slogan of the shop: “Drink with Company,” which is the way the shop was built. With lots of outdoor seating and open space in the shop, Searles and Sotello created a place for people to enjoy their coffee with others.

“We wanted to create a space where we would want to go and hang out,” Searles said. “It’s bits and pieces of other cafes and pictures we’ve seen.”

Sofia Clark | Mustang News

Searles said WithCo is proud to have their own coffee in-house. They offer coffee grown in Papua New Guinea, Guatemala, Ethiopia and Colombia. All WithCo coffee is roasted in Oakland by Searles’ brother. The menu includes espresso, drip coffee, herbal teas and much more. They also offer almond milk, oat milk and donuts from the local donut shop San Luis Obispo Donut Company (SloDoCo).

The shop also makes coffee with non-alcoholic cocktail mixers from their sister company, WithCo Cocktails, founded by Searles’ sister and brother-in-law in Nashville. The combination is new to San Luis Obispo, but has proven to be a success, according to Searles and Sotello. Some of their most popular drinks are the Old Fashioned latte and cappuccino.

The two are working on more business plans and hope to expand the coffee shop.

WithCo Coffee is located in the far left corner of The Creamery and its current hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

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