Travelers flying in and out of the Kansas City International Airport’s new terminal can experience the aroma and tastes of an Italian cafe — without leaving the States — when they stop by Parisi Coffee, said Joe Paris.
“A core part of our branding has been taking the traditional Italian espresso and bringing it into a modern Americanized coffee beverage. We’re an Italian family, so we pay homage to how we got here,” said Paris — who serves as the vice president of sales and marketing for the family-run businesses, Paris Brothers Speciality Foods and Parisi Coffee.
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Inspired by their Sicilian mother’s legacy and tradition, Paris’ father and uncle opened their first roasting facility in 2006. Nearly 17 years later, Parisi Coffee is the largest local and family-owned coffee company in Kansas City with cafe locations in Union Station, Overland Park, Argosy Casino, and the new terminal at KCI.
“For as early as I can remember, everybody in my family would drink coffee made from a Moka pot because that was how my grandmother made it,” Paris recalled. “The bridge from our past to present is the Moka pot. This all started from everybody sitting around a table, indulging in Italian coffee.”
Paris Bros. Inc.
Before launching Parisi Coffee with a roasterie in 2006, Joseph Paris and his brothers, Salvatore and Anthony, founded Kansas City-based Paris Bros. Inc. in 1983. The distribution company started out with pastries and flavored systems and now distributes a variety of specialty foods under Paris Brothers Speciality Foods.
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Parisi Coffee began discussions with potential airport operators in 2019 and struck a deal with Vantage Airport Group.
“We felt like their values really align with ours and saw their vision for what this airport could be, so we were happy that they won the bid,” Paris said. “… It’s been a crazy past two years to get to the point where we’re at, but all of the various moving parts and people have come together so beautifully. Vantage has been a great partner through it all.”
Parisi Coffee is located at A Node across from the security checkpoint at the KCI terminal. Paris, who was born and raised in Kansas City, is excited that his family’s business is able to be a part of Kansas City history, he shared.
“When people come into the airport and are customers of our cafe, we are not only representing our brand and our coffee, but we are also representing Kansas City,” Paris continued. “We take that very seriously because we want those who come into the city to have a good first impression. We love Kansas City and love how the city embraces local businesses. That is the message we want to send through this new [terminal].”
The style of Parisi Coffee’s airport location pulls inspiration from its Union Station cafe, Paris noted.
“Our brand is high-end experiential, so we wanted the location at the airport to represent our brand positively,” he explained. “It’s a place where you can sit down and enjoy a great cup of coffee, but it was also designed for quick come and go travelers. … We mimicked a lot of the aesthetics of our Union Station location. Hopefully, people will see it and then want to check out Union Station and our cafe there.”
Parisi Coffee is for those who want “high quality coffee the traditional way,” Paris said.
“Our quality in where we source our products and how we make the coffee is what sets us apart from other coffee shops,” Paris said. “Parisi is very sustainable in how we source our product; it is very important to us that we source directly from farms. As a family-owned company ourselves, we tend to work with family-owned farms. We try to buy from the same farms, so that their growth continues alongside our own. It is important to us to do these things the right way.”
Parisi Coffee also operates a wholesale program, which is available to partners and organizations of any size, from places of worship, to medium-sized offices, to multi-location restaurants and cafes. The brand is served as by the Kansas City Chiefs, Sporting KC, Sierra Grill in Lenexa, New Cafe 40 in Overland Park’s Corporate Woods and — coming soon — at both Q39 locations.
Click here to inquire about partnering with Parisi for wholesale distribution.
Coffee roasting is an art and passion for the Paris family, Paris shared, noting that coffee has been at the pinnacle moments of so many family occasions.
“It is one of the most fun and unique things out there because it inherently brings people together,” Paris said. “Coffee is a jumping off point for conversations. It’s part of a global culture. It’s just really cool that we get to continue sharing what we love with more people than ever before.”