Bucking the less-than-favorable odds of 2020, a new coffee shop has opened in Frisco with some extra-creative coffee drinks and beans roasted in-house. Called Lemma Coffee, it's a plucky shop newly opened at 9250 Dallas Pkwy., at the corner of Main Street, in a little center called World Cup Plaza, where it's charming locals with specialty drinks and doting service.
Owner Daniel Baum founded Lemma in 2017, when he launched a coffee stand at the Denton County Farmers Market. Thanks to a combination of determination and a little good luck, he's navigated his coffee concept into two brick-and-mortar locations and attracted lots of fans along the way.
His menu includes standard espresso drinks but also a selection of inventive house specialties. They have a signature Lemma Latte, made with vanilla and sweetened condensed milk; and their best-seller, the Bees Knees, a lavender latte with vanilla and honey.
Other notable drinks include an eggnog latte with house-made syrup, and a cold brew coffee, shaken with caramel, cocoa, and salt.
They keg their own cold brew, and serve baked goods from Bisous Bisous Patisserie in Dallas.
They also do toasts, all served on thick bread from Dallas' Village Baking Co., including:
- Avocado toast, avocado spead with roma tomato and onion
- Elvis toast, with peanut butter and banana
- Berry sweet, with whipped cream cheese and strawberries
- Trifecta, chocolate-hazelnut spread with bananas, strawberries, blueberries, and honey
- Strawberry Chocolate, chocolate-hazelnut spead with strawberries
Baum, who has also worked as a professional photographer, has a positive, sweet charisma that has helped to attract customers and to combat the vicissitudes of owning your own business during COVID-19.
One stroke of good fortune came when he was invited to open a shop at the University of Texas at Dallas.
"I was still a one-man show at Denton County Farmers Market and also doing a coffee truck when I met someone who worked in dining services at UTD," he says. "They wanted someone to build and staff a coffee bar on campus. It was such a tremendous opportunity. My brother-in-law and I are both handy with tools, and we built that in two weeks. That was the real start for Lemma where it quickly became a business."
By fall 2019, Lemma was poised for bigger growth, with the first brick-and-mortar in downtown Carrollton and a brisk business at UTD. And then COVID-19 hit, and they had to close their campus shop.
"We had all this equipment and a loyal staff who had been with us over a year, so when we saw the opportunity in Frisco, it seemed like it would be good to give our staff more options," he says.
One of their big priorities is bean sourcing — to partner with smaller importers who focus on sustainability at the farm level. "All of our coffees are single-origin, no blending, and a lot of our coffees are identified by the name of the grower," he says.
Their other goal: be friendly to all customers.
"We really strive to be anti-pretentious," he says. "If someone comes in and orders a Starbucks-type drink, we'll tell them what drinks we have that they might like. We're here for transitioning Starbuck drinkers as well as coffee geeks."