What happens when you mix a love of aviation and coffee? Aviatori Coffeehouse, the best new business in downtown and runner-up for best coffeehouse in Springfield.
Settling down in Havana, Illinois, after falling in love with the area while working as crop dusters, Juliana Turchetti and Joe Coppick decided to take their passion for coffee to the next level, planning to open a coffee house in Havana. But after running the numbers, Turchetti says that they were not sure Havana could support a second coffeehouse. That led them to broaden their search to Springfield, which led to a historic home across from the Willard Ice Building.
"I was in love with this building as soon as I opened the door," recounted Turchetti, who felt a connection with the home's previous owner, Tony Leone, who died in 2021 before fulfilling his vision of opening a café in the space. "He has Italian roots just like me. He had a dream of opening a cafe here. It's a lot of happy coincidences, and Aviatori is a great way to make both our dreams come true."
Coffee is sourced from family farms in Brazil where Turchetti grew up, and roasted locally in Havana. Patrons can also pick up bulk beans and pre-ground coffee for enjoyment at home or work. It's not just the great-tasting coffee that attracts customers, though.
"We get a lot of compliments," recounts Turchetti, "people who come here and tell us they love the atmosphere, the ambiance. It's quiet. People spend two or three hours here, sitting down with their feet up, reading a book. I was looking for cozy comfort with some style, and I was lucky enough to find a lot of nice pieces of furniture."
In addition to coffee, Aviatori also offers teas, Italian sodas, desserts, muffins and biscuits, and Pão de Queijo, a gluten-free, traditional Brazilian cheese roll made in-house. The coffeehouse can be rented for private parties and special events. Turchetti hopes to install new signage soon to increase awareness of their business.
Turchetti says that being selected as the Best of Springfield "is a great surprise, because we've been open only five months. I feel honored and supported by the community."