Local business profile: Juli’s Coffee and Bistro

Kodee Christensen

Nestled in the heart of downtown Topeka, just off Kansas Avenue, is Juli’s Coffee and Bistro.

Housed in the historic Gizmo building, originally the Thatcher building, Juli’s is filled with stories of fame, friendly faces and great coffee.

“The original owner was Juli Cothbertson, and she started Juli’s Coffee and Bistro about fourteen years ago,” said Kelly Edkin, current owner of Juli’s. “She had a small shop in Rossville and as her husband was transferred because of his job – she moved the shop. I believe she moved to Junction City, then Wamego and then Huntoon and Gage. In 2014, she decided to move downtown.”

In the summer of 2016, Juli Cothbertson and her husband moved back to Texas and decided to sell Juli’s. 

Kelly’s stepdaughter who was working at Juli’s at the time, connected her with Cothbertson.

July 1, 2016, Kelly and her husband Wayne officially bought Juli’s Coffee and Bistro.

The expertly trained staff also shares how everyone at Juli’s is familiar like relatives.

“The atmosphere is very homey,” said Barista Brianna Douglas. “Everyone here is kind of like a big family. Then we get the big-name people such as senators, the governor was in the other day, the mayor comes in a lot. It’s cool to experience things that you wouldn’t experience at any other job.”

Because of Juli’s convenient positioning just a few blocks from the capitol building, the bistro has become a unique networking hub. With Topeka Performing Arts Center also close by, the staff has seen their fair share of stars in Juli’s.

“We have catered a lot to the Topeka Performing Arts Center for many of the bands that have been there,” said Edkin. “Chicago, Styx, Celtic Women, The Beach Boys, REO Speedwagon –we love doing that. It’s usually an all-day thing but when TPAC calls, we say yes.”

Another business that’s close by is the Evergy Plaza. Many employees from neighboring businesses find Juli’s to be a convenient place to walk to before work or during lunch breaks.

“I’m here for breakfast most often,” said Juli’s customer, Teresa Douglas. “I love the smoothies and appreciate that there is good meat in the breakfasts. And it’s right across the street from Evergy where I work, so it’s really convenient to just walk across the street.”

From newcomers to regulars, the staff at Juli’s is ready to treat patrons with a “how can I help you?” attitude, which is the staff mantra.

“The customers are my favorite part about working at Juli’s,” said Douglas. “I’ve been working here for about four months, and I’m pretty sure I know almost everyone’s order that comes in regularly.”

Juli’s is still open during this time and is continuing to fill catering and to-go orders.

The shop is open for people to stop by for food and drink orders, but they are asked to take them to-go instead of staying in the dining area. They are also offering take-home meal kits that you can purchase in-shop and make at home.

To place a carry-out order, visit http://www.juliscoffeeandbistro.com/ or call 785-228-2001.

For delivery, find Juli’s Coffee and Bistro through EatStreet or DoorDash. For catering orders, call 785-228-2001 or contact [email protected] at least 24 hours in advance.

Edited by Diana Martinez-Ponce, Hannah Alleyne, Wesley Tabor