When Adrianne Meyer and her boyfriend, Frederick Ustoltseff, were stranded at Manhattan Regional Airport last December, they found themselves with a dilemma.
An ice storm delayed their flight to Dallas, which left them with no choice but to wait at the airport with growling stomachs and thirsts to quench.
The couple hatched the idea to solve this problem — no place to eat or drink at the airport — by opening Bandit Coffee + Café to serve hungry and thirsty travelers, as well as the general public. It is opening Monday.
“For us, we’re just kind of excited that this idea is just coming to life,” Meyer said. “It was something that we were planning to do and wanted to do. We didn’t plan on it being here at all.”
The couple started the business online three years ago, selling coffee beans and grounds. The Bandit location in the airport is the first physical space to open, Meyer said.
Bandit Coffee + Café will be open from 4:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. Travelers can order after going through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint, and non-travelers can order drinks and food via an ordering station outside of the checkpoint.
The Manhattan City Commission approved a three-year lease with Bandit Coffee and Café in May. The company will pay $700 in rent and 2.5% of its sales to the city each month.
The airport had been seeking a food vendor since completing its terminal expansion in December 2016.
Bandit’s coffee is sourced from Peru, Meyer said. The beans are low-acid, roasted in small batches and are grown in high altitude.
“Our quality of coffee is really like the top-of-the-line coffee,” Meyer said.
Because of the beans’ low acidity, individuals with Crohn’s disease or those that experience acid reflux can enjoy a cup without unwanted side effects, Meyer said.
In addition to beverages, the café also will feature food from Mr. K’s Cafe, such as sandwiches and breakfast items. All dairy products used are from Hildebrand Farms Dairy in Junction City.
As a Hanover native, Meyer said it is important for Bandit to work with local businesses.
The couple relocated to Manhattan from Los Angeles to open Bandit Coffee + Café. Ustoltseff has a background in the medical field, Meyer said. The couple met in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Meyer said she has received questions about the origin of the café’s name.
“The Bandit is that person you become once you have that cup of coffee,” she said. “It’s that person that comes out when it’s game time.”