We’ve got a love of local so of course we (Jules & Tracy) were over the moon to be interviewed by VoyageSTL for their Inspiring Stories in St. Louis series. Not only do we talk about how Espresso Yourself came to be but also about opening our sister restaurant Sister’s Sandwich Shoppe, managing business during the pandemic, and some personal tidbits about ourselves. Click here to read the full article.
Sisters Tracy Calabro and Jules Karagiannis are looking forward to opening Sisters Sandwich Shoppe by the end of March or early April, as reported by St. Louis Magazine. This will be their second establishment in Southampton and is located at 5353 Devonshire Ave. in the space adjacent to their already-popular Espresso Yourself Coffee & Cafe, which opened in 2018.
“We have cultivated a sense of community here at the coffee shop,” said Karagiannis. After the Macklind Avenue Deli burned down in 2018, Southampton residents started to miss having a local sandwich shop in the community. “Someone put the idea in our head that the neighborhood was missing Macklind Deli, and that we should open a deli or sandwich shop, and we said, ‘Well, OK!’”
In 2018, sisters Jules Karagiannis and Tracy Calabro opened Espresso Yourself Coffee & Café (5351 Devonshire), an inviting coffeeshop on a busy corner in the Southampton neighborhood. When the adjacent space recently became available, they decided to double down on Devonshire and open a sandwich shop.
“When the Macklind Avenue Deli was destroyed in that terrible Fourth of July fire, the neighborhood lost a great little sandwich place,” Karagiannis says. “Since we opened Espresso Yourself, this neighborhood’s become our second home. We feel blessed, grateful, and humbled by all the support we have received, especially during these tough times. So when the space next store to us opened up, Tracy and I thought, ‘Why not us? Let’s be that sandwich place.'”
You may or may not be aware that last fall we were contacted by the producers of the ABC television show What Would You Do? They were looking for a coffee shop in the St. Louis area to film a few hidden camera scenarios and wanted to know if we would be interested . DUH! Of course!
The days before and during filming were a whirlwind! They spent several hours setting up all of the hidden cameras in the shop, adding lighting and even new cabinets to hide the cameras in. They created an entire control room in our basement. We were in awe of how much went into the “behind the scenes” of a TV show. They filmed two different scenarios in the course of two days.
If you are not familiar with the show, they stage scenarios (with actors) in a public place to see how people will react and film it with hidden cameras. The scenarios address real-life issues that are occuring in our everyday life – injustices, homelessness, inequality, etc.
The first scenario filmed at EYCC aired in the season premier last night, July 7, 2020. I don’t want to give too much away, but let me just tell you that our neighbors and community literally blew us away with their reactions! Every single guest, not knowing that the scenario was staged and that they were being filmed, was genuine, compassionate and generous! With all of the negativity in the world today, this show proves that there are good people in the world and especially right here in our neighborhood. Click the link below to see for yourself….
We have been so honored to be in a partnership with the Gift-A-Meal organization for the past year! If you’re not familiar, GiftAMeal is a socially conscious dining app that simply asks that customers post photos from partnering restaurants while enjoying their food, beverage, etc. It costs the consumer nothing but for every photo shared through the app, a meal is provided for someone in need.
They have recently launched a podcast called Food on the Table. Food on the Table brings you behind-the-scenes to meet the people who drive the food industry and keep our communities fed. From restaurant owners to food critics, food tech entrepreneurs to hunger relief nonprofits… these are the stories of those who are working hard to put more food on the table, for all.
We were honored to have been asked to participate in one of these podcasts and boy did we have fun with it! We were told that Doug would polish it up and cut out the silly stuff – but he left it ALL in there and we are pleased with how it reflects just how and who we are…..sisters who love each other and have fun running a business together!
If you follow us on any of the social media platforms, you already know that we were both asked to be contributing authors in a recently released anthology book called Fearless & Fabulous; Finding Your Way Through Change and Beyond. This book was a collaborative efforts of 16 fearless women who share their story about their journey through some kind of change, whether it be in their career or in their life as a whole, and came out even more fabulous on the other side of that change.
You can purchase the kindle version or paperback copy on Amazon. We also have a limited number of copies in the shop for purchase. We may even be willing to autograph it for you!
Gosh…..where do we begin?
Thank you to EVERYONE that helped us celebrate our first year in the SOHA neighborhood and Macklind Business District!
We did all the things…..
~Joined the Macklind Business District just as it is growing with leaps and bounds.
~ We cheered on the gobs runners during the Macklind Mile.
~We hosted 12+ Open Mic Nights, welcomed several Book Clubs, pop-ups, meet-ups and art workshops right here in our little shop.
~ We went to our first Coffeefest (who knew there was such a thing!) in Indy.
~ We launched our Mobile Barista Service, Espresso Yourself Around Town which we hope to be bringing to an office, a home or a space near you!
~ Most of all we made new friends that make us smile daily and that is truly the most amazing thing that happened our first year… meeting you!
We are so very fortunate and blessed had such an amazing first year and we are looking forward to making more friends and memories over the years to come!
Our amazing Southampton neighborhood is celebrating 100 YEARS!
When we first moved in, we had been told that our building was believed to be the very first St. Mary Magdalen Church. Thanks to one of our regular guests who worked on the archives for the 100 anniversary, this has now been confirmed! Check out this photo of our building when the first service was held on September 7, 1919.
We are simply beaming with pride right now. We want to personally hug each and every one of our neighbors that voted us a NEIGHBORHOOD FAVORITE 2019. Seriously, we are beyond grateful! We promise to keep the good vibes going for years to come! THANK YOU!!!!!