Kô-fē Drive-Thru greets customers with new mural

Photo by Shelley Widhalm – Mural created by Logan Rees of Berthoud on the exterior of Kô-fē Drive-Thru

By Shelley Widhalm

The Surveyor

Visitors to Kô-fē Drive-Thru will be greeted by flowers holding coffee cups and swirling coffee creamer as they pull up to order.

The vibrant design on a purple background is the drive-thru’s newest mural of the four or five it has had since it opened in 1996 as Jo to Go. The drive-thru coffee and ice cream shop at 429 Meadowlark Dr., rebranded as Kô-fē Drive-Thru in March.

“We had a mural before, but it became weathered and was falling off in sheets of paint. It was time for a refresher,” said Amanda Thorstensen, owner of the drive-thru and a Berthoud resident. “Our buildings have always had murals on them from the very beginning of Jo to Go, so I wanted to continue that tradition.”

Photo by Shelley Widhalm – Logan Rees stands outside Kofe Drive-Thru by the mural he panted on the exterior of the building.

Thorstensen commissioned Logan Rees, a barista at Kô-fē House, to paint the mural after learning about his artwork. He works at the coffee shop at 434 Mountain Ave. that she co-owns with her mother, Tiffany Heywood. Thorstenjsen told Rees she wanted something with coffee mugs and the feel of Willy Wonka, a fictional character in Roald Dahl’s 1964 children’s book, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” which was later made into a film in 2005.

“It was one of my favorite movies as a kid. It made me giggle,” Thorstensen said.

The commission is a first for Rees, a junior studying graphic design at Colorado State University. Rees, who lives in Berthoud, painted a mural in one of the classrooms at Berthoud High School, where he graduated in 2016. He mainly works in realism, using acrylic and pencil.

For the mural, Rees used acrylic to create a 50-foot by 12-foot painting on the west side of the building, taking the month of August to do the work and finishing Aug. 25.

“I have swirling backgrounds and ’60s line work on the right side and coffee flowers on the left,” Rees said. “The mugs are sprouting from the flowers.”

Rees chose to work in bright primary colors and use a deep purple background to match the color of the rest of the building.

“White swirling like creamer in coffee was what I was going for,” Rees said. “I wanted it as an abstract background to contrast the foreground stuff, the geometric and flat lines. … I made the shapes bold, so they don’t blend with the background. They stand out from it.”

The drive-thru’s previous mural was on the south side of the building. It represented a caricature of Thorstensen’s father, Peder, who started and owned the coffee shop with Heywood. He was depicted waving with the words, “See You Soon,” written backward for a correct view out of a rearview mirror.

The idea of the various murals was to bring attention to the drive-thru at a time when drive-thru coffee shops were a rarity — Jo to Go was the second or third one in Colorado, Thorstensen said.

Thorstensen asked Rees to provide a second mural on the south side of the drive-thru, which will be similar to that of the Peder caricature, but of her waving.

As for Rees’s first mural, “I absolutely love it. It’s exceeded my expectations,” Thorstensen said. “I love that it’s colorful and that it represents just how eccentric we are. It makes me happy, and I’m really proud of Logan.”

Thorstensen became a co-owner of the drive-thru with Heywood  in September 2015 and bought it in September 2017. Her new mural has brought in a few new customers, plus brought attention to Rees.

Rees can be contacted at logan1of3@gmail.com and on Instagram at @logansmithrees.

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