Maps Chocolate and Coffee

A sweet tooth and caffeine lovers dream

Ally Pruente (she/her), Co-Editor In Chief

Many chain coffee shops around our area are decorated to appeal to the average coffee and pastry lover. Soothing music fills the air. The quaint study spaces around the room fill up with customers hoping to find some peace and tranquility. All these things sound exactly like the reason I visit a coffee shop. But as much as I enjoy the Starbucks runs, there is something about a local shop that brings a new flavor to the table. 

My sister and I visited a local coffee and chocolate shop called Maps, hidden in old town Lenexa. This shop was off the beaten path, but really provided an excellent and simple cup of coffee. The store caught my eye as I crossed the intersection between Plfumm and Santa Fe Trail Drive with a giant sign saying “chocolate and coffee”. I felt as if that sign gave me all I needed, coffee and chocolate. As we walked in we were welcomed by an employee who seriously seemed to love her job. The store was decorated with globes, bikes, merchandise and of course maps. There were chocolate bars on shelves in almost every flavor I could imagine, each bar wrapped in brown paper and tied with a colorful string. 

Out of all the sights to see in Maps, the bikes in the corner of the store caught my eye the most. When I got home I researched the shop and found that Maps was started by a man named Vincent. He began the shop after leaving his corporate job at Starbucks to open a bike store in 2013. He started to roast coffee in the shop and call it “maps coffee”. In 2018, Maps coffee had grown so big that Vincent sold the bike shop to pursue the coffee shop. I instantly loved this story. 

But what about the chocolate? My research also taught me about how chocolate made its way into Maps coffee. In 2016 Vincent began to make chocolate with his grandmother’s molcajete, a heavy duty bowl frequently used in Mexican style cooking. By 2017 he was ready to introduce chocolate into the shop. The first time my sister and I went, we tried the white chocolate strawberry bar. It was full of flavor and you could literally taste the originality. I had never had anything like it, and I eat a lot of chocolate. 

My overall experience at Maps was a good one. The staff was kind, and the entire store was inviting to new customers. I loved the handmade chocolate bars, they really had a unique flavor and meshed well with the coffee. A small shop like this one has an awesome story that you can’t get from a chain coffee shop. The coffee itself was so natural and really packed a good taste. I would prefer this coffee over a sugary starbucks drink anyday. I highly recommend Maps to anyone with a sweet tooth and a love for a good quality cup of coffee.