Teleo opens to Kirkwood


Wyatt Byers

Teleo Coffee opened for business on Aug. 15 in downtown Kirkwood.

It’s 6:15 a.m., Teleo has only been open for fifteen minutes and Cass Clark, the shift lead, is already knee-deep in coffee orders. She works at Teleo Coffee, a coffee shop on Monroe Avenue. The shop is stuffed with chairs, tables and plants. At the top of the stairs there’s a space for kids with a chalkboard and toys. Based inside a renovated old house, Teleo has recently opened its doors to the community.

“We see a lot of teachers and people who work out in the early morning,” Clark said. “It’s been so busy, but it’s good to see people.”

Even though the shop on Monroe Avenue opened Aug. 15th, Teleo Coffee has been around Kirkwood since 2019.

Costumers are greeted by “Love Your Neighbor,” Teleo’s mission statement, as soon as they walk in. (Wyatt Byers)

Before the shop was opened, they had a booth set up at the local farmer’s market, Summit Produce. While they were undergoing construction, Teleo had a tent set up in the parking lot.

“Our drink, the ‘Mini on Monroe,’ is named after the tent we had outside,” Clark said. “We still had a good following in the tent, but it has been good to see everyone inside.”

Teleo offers unique coffee options, like the “Lavender Vanilla Latte,” infused with a homemade vanilla and lavender syrup, and the “Honeybear,” espresso topped with honey and cinnamon.  The cafe has attracted people from all around St. Louis.

“I came from two hours away,” Sam, a Teleo customer, said. “Normally we go to Kaldi’s but we saw this was open and decided to give it a try. It didn’t disappoint.” 

Teleo doesn’t want to just serve coffee and sandwiches to the people of St. Louis. Clark said that Teleo is committed to helping their community in meaningful ways. One way they do this is through the products they use everyday.

I came from two hours away.”

— Sam, a Teleo customer

“We get our bread and our pastries from Bridge Bread,” Clark said. “They work with homeless men and women and help them look for jobs. Our coffee roaster is Switch Coffee from downtown St. Louis, and they have incarcerated people come and help brew the coffee. We get our honey from a local Rolling Fields in Illinois. All our products are local.”

Teleo also has charitable missions. Their drink, “Love Your Neighbor,” donates 10% of its proceeds to a local charity. Every three months they change where they donate to. This quarter, they’re donating to Oasis, a charity that helps welcome refugees to the United States.

“Oasis is helping the refugees in St. Louis, with a big focus on the ones from Afghanistan,”  Clark said. “They help them find food, clothes, and household items. We have boxes out on the back porch that the community can donate any items they want to and we’ll give it to them.”

“The Honeybear” is one of Teleo’s most popular coffees among costumers. (Wyatt Byers)

Teleo wants employees to be able to have a day to rest every week, which is why they aren’t open on Sunday. Currently, they’re open from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., but there are plans to expand those hours.

“We have plans to be open until 6 p.m. soon,” Audrey High, a barista at Teleo said. “We want students to be able to come here after school and for Teleo to become a study spot.

Teleo has unique coffees and an interest in furthering their relationships with the local community, whether through donations or by offering a space for people to come together. The phrase “Love Your Neighbor” that’s emblazoned on their wall, mugs and sign, to inform their actions.