Fredy Montero has made his name through excellence on the soccer pitch. A household name to anyone who owns a Seattle Sounders scarf, Montero is one of the most prolific goal scorers in MLS history. Lesser known, but equally devoted to excellence, is Santo Coffee, Montero’s sleek coffee shop located in Seattle’s Roosevelt neighborhood that opened in August of 2019.
The welcoming space—floor to ceiling windows, gorgeous Victoria Arduino espresso machines, elegant modern furniture, polished concrete floors, a window-side bar made from a long “ribbon” of solid wood, plush green vintage couches—is the product of a vision shared by co-owners Montero and his wife Alexis and Mikhail (Mike) and Jessica Ghyvoronsky.
The stunning space transports you, somewhere dreamy, an international destination that’s hard to pin down.
“I’m originally from Russia, Jessica was born in Korea, Fredy grew up in Colombia and he and Alexa lived abroad for years,” says Mike, who can usually be found behind the counter. “We wanted to take inspiration and experiences we had in other countries and other coffee cultures and bring them here.”
Working with a local architect, they collaborated to dream into reality the kind of space they’d love to bring their family and friends to.
Santo Blend, their coffee, is a locally-roasted blend of Colombian single-origin varietals. The well-balanced coffee has a bright, lively flavor and is excellent both brewed and as espresso. It is available in whole bean form and elegantly crafted espresso drinks and pour-overs.
“Because of Covid, we’re only doing takeout right now, but we still have many customers who come every day for their coffee and a Macrina Nutella Brioche, coffee cake, or another favorite Macrina pastry,” says Mike.
For a café built to inspire people to gather around excellent coffee in an elevated space, the Covid-19 restrictions have been hard. Still, they’re taking it in stride and look forward to the day the café will again be made vibrant by people who share their passion for coffee and community.
With vaccinations underway, there’s at least a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. In the meanwhile, stop in, check out the digs, let Mike make you a great coffee, grab a pastry, a bag of beans, maybe a Santo crew, tee-shirt, or hat, and begin to plan future coffee dates.
“We wanted the space to be one that people felt inspired in and would take some part of that into their own life,” says Mike. “We can’t wait to see people able to gather here again.”
Photo credits: Andrew Story, John Hong