“It’s like time is slowing down”

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WEST CITY – Climbing the long industrial crate in the Center of Order and Experimentation is designed to feel like stepping back in time.

Credit: Supplied//Paul Octavious
COE co-founders Jean Cate and Julie Purpura designed the space with inspiration from the post-modern era.

The cafe and store opened June 25 at 1727 W. Grand Ave., offering coffee, pastries and select homewares in a retro-inspired space.

Co-founders Julie Purpura, of interior design firm Avenir Creative, and Jean Cate, owner of Martha Mae, wanted the boutique to feel like “a place familiar from childhood” without uncertainty, Purpura said.

“We wanted to add a quirky or campy quality to it, where you might feel like you’re stepping into Jean and me’s universe,” Purpura said. “We wear weird uniforms and we’re here to help with our 1980s wraps and huge counter.”

The two friends executed their vision with vintage and utilitarian decorations inspired by libraries and post offices, a classic cafe menu featuring Monday Coffee Co., and shelves filled with carefully packaged products designed to improve everyday productivity.

“It’s a unique experience inspired by post-modern art and architecture,” Purpura said. “There’s something so cool about feeling like you’re back in the day, it’s like time moving more slowly.”

Credit: Supplied//Paul Octavious
A decadent but useful item you’ll find at COE is an inedible decorative cake candle.

The store is filled with functional yet playful items, like a cake-shaped candle that can be reused every birthday, Purpura said.

“Julie and I really enjoy physical objects and routine, so a lot of the things we’ve curated in the shop help you organize your life and feel grounded in whatever you do, while also making your routine more fun and effective,” Cate said.

People can browse the store’s products and grab coffee and pastries, which are made by Monday Coffee Co.

Cate and Purp0ura included the cafe in their business because they want the Center for Order and Experimentation “to be part of people’s daily lives and a place where people in the neighborhood can connect,” Cate said. .

The store also has an outpost for Martha Mae: Art Supplies and Beautiful Things, a business run by Cate. He had a physical location in Andersonville which closed due to the pandemic.

The cafe and store are open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday at 1727 W. Grand Ave. More information on its website.

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