At Pilgrim Coffee in Overland Park, you may come for the coffee, but the owners are hoping you’ll stay for the connection.
Bud and Nancy Tollie, their son, Chip and his wife Mary, and their daughter, Lesilee Stevens and her husband Jeff, own Pilgrim Coffee together. The owners all live in Johnson County, and it was important to them to establish Pilgrim Coffee in the area they call home. After lots of dreaming and planning, they opened shop in January 2018.
The name Pilgrim comes from the idea of a pilgrim being someone who takes a journey, while the shop’s buffalo logo fits with the shop’s aesthetic and resonates with Midwesterners.
The owners wanted Pilgrim to have a community perspective. One of the owners, Mary Tollie, says, “We are grateful that we have a space that allows people to really connect. We truly enjoy having guests of all ages visit and want them to feel welcome.”
This means you may wait a moment for a pour over or handcrafted latte, and you’ll have to come into the shop because there is no drive-thru, but the owners believe the connection is well worth it. Staff members and owners enjoy interacting with guests. They make it a priority to personally deliver drinks, greet guests and thank them as they leave.
Pilgrim Coffee is open, bright and quite spacious. Mary says, “There is plenty of seating for guests to be able to stay a while, and we enjoy it when they do! We love connecting with guests and seeing them connect with each other.”
The shop even features a private meeting space that can be reserved for groups and is open on a first-come, first-served basis when not reserved.
Pilgrim Coffee prides itself on serving great quality coffee and making all syrups from scratch. Beans are roasted at Post Coffee in Lee’s Summit. House-made syrups such as mocha, vanilla and mint can be added to many different drinks, and Mary says the family enjoys serving some seasonal drinks as well.
Fall seasonal drink offerings include the maple latte, the turmeric oat milk latte, and an autumn spice latte—a sweet potato latte with maple, cinnamon and brown sugar—Pilgrim’s alternative to the popular pumpkin spice latte. New this year is the s’mores latte—marshmallow mixed with maple, rimmed with chocolate and crushed graham crackers.
Pilgrim Coffee also offers great tea from Shang Tea, Louisburg Cider Mill apple cider and craft sodas. Pastries from Scratch Bakery, gluten-free treats from Emily Kate’s Gluten Free Bakery and several food items round out the menu.
Full-time employee Samantha Duke manages the shop, but the Tollie family members aren’t hands-off owners. On any given day, you may spot several owners working on running the point of sale, cleaning tables, doing dishes and enjoying visiting with guests. Mary says the family members come and go. “We are all very involved in the day-to-day operations, both in the shop and behind the scenes.”
The owners are hoping you’ll “come in, relax, and stay a while.”