Milkin’ It coffee shop opens in Channel District, Downtown Tampa

Sebastien Rivas has always had fond memories of his childhood breakfasts of fun cereals and creamy milk, so when he decided to go into business, it was with the intention of sharing those fond memories with his customers.

His new coffee shop, Milkin’ It, held its grand opening in September at 1000 Channelside Drive, Suite A1, in downtown Tampa.

“It was my original idea,” says Rivas, who is also working in the café, “to bring adults and kids together with both cereal and coffee.” Rivas says his concept took two years to completion while he worked another job and he and his wife, Stephanie Ramirez, developed the business plan on their own. The couple also shared in planning the menu for breakfast, lunch, and snack items, he says.

“We do offer cereal with almond flavor, iced coffee, cereal-infused ice cream, and sandwiches like Cuban and turkey sandwiches,” he says. He also throws some fun in with comical names for some menu items, like the Kylie Jenner, which is plain avocado toast. There is also the Hurry Up croissant, made from an egg mixture of the customer’s choice, with bacon, turkey, or whatever else they request. “It has a mix of pop culture influence,” he says.

“And the ice creams we serve literally take on the flavor of whatever cereal or fruit you put in them,” Rivas says.
The initial opening has gone well with a steady stream of customers, he says. Milkin’ It is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

The building he is leasing was move-in ready and required only decorations and setting up the kitchen.

He is promoting the shop as a work-friendly space where customers can enjoy coffee while working on their laptops or reading.
As for the experience of developing his business plan and moving through the process, Rivas says it was like making a decision to buy a house or have a child. He prepared and executed.

“It was definitely a good experience, with only expected hiccups, but learning as we went.

Read more articles by Yvette C. Hammett.

Yvette C. Hammett, a native Floridian and a graduate of the University of Florida, has spent much of her career as a professional journalist covering business, the environment, and local features throughout the Tampa Bay Area. She is an avid camper and outdoors person who has also been involved in local events for foster children and the elderly.
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