Founded by Tyler and Jaime Rovenstine, Monarch has been a vision several years in the making. After welcoming a daughter in 2015, they were inspired to finally open the shop they had been talking about creating for over a decade. A barista and an artist, respectively, Monarch is a marriage of coffee and art. Their aim is to provide a new cafe experience: where the coffee is excellent, the service is intentional, the space is inspiring, and your visit is satisfying and comfortable. They are committed to being a welcoming and inclusive anchor in the community. Monarch is located in the historic Valentine neighborhood of Kansas City, in the recently renovated Ambassador Building.
We chatted with co-owner Tyler Rovenstine about the ups and downs of starting a new cafe in Midtown, and what drives him to be a succesful small business owner.
How did you get started in this business?
When I was in college, my aunt and uncle purchased an existing coffee shop. They offered me a job, and right away, I knew that I would be working in coffee for a long time. I’ve now worked in coffee for 13 years, managed a handful of shops, and have been a national barista competitor. I’m excited to finally be opening my own shop.
What made you choose this neighborhood for your business?
There were many reasons why we chose this neighborhood. First of all, we’re Midtowners ourselves, and we wanted a location that we could easily get to without a car. Monarch is a 20 minute walk from our house. We also wanted a neighborhood that had a dense, residential population, and a strong cultural identity. Uptown already has a strong (and growing) identity, yet it lacks a neighborhood coffee establishment
If you have one piece of advice for an entrepreneur just starting out, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to accept help when it’s offered to you.
What inspires you the most?
My wife and daughter.
Where do you hope to be (business wise) in 4 years?
We hope that we can open other locations for sure. Aside from the big picture, I hope that Monarch is an anchor for the neighborhood, serving our customers well, paying our people well, and making delightful coffee for everyone who comes into our shop.
What is the biggest obstacle/problem in reaching your goals?
Kansas City has a rich & growing coffee culture, which means that Monarch must have high standards to meet our customer’s expectations. We’re definitely up for the challenge!