West Columbia residents looking for a little pep in their step now have a new option to get their daily dose of caffeine.

Koffee Koala opened at 3022 Charleston Highway Saturday in the Cayce Crossing shopping center.

Co-owners Yesenia Avalos and John Thrash III ventured into opening a coffee shop after having an interest for quite some time. "Everything here is locally roasted and owned," Avalos said. "We've always been very interested in coffee... Everything came from a love of coffee, a bunch of different people and connections and friends we had."

The store was formerly a coffee shop called the Lazy Llama which closed Sept. 24. Avalos said moving into an old coffee shop helped her and Thrash have a smooth transition in to their business as most of the items and setup they required was already in place.

Coffee beans at Koffee Koala come from Lake Murray Coffee Roasters. Sourcing the coffee from this local business helps Koffee Koala have a hand in giving back to the farmers who grow the beans, according to Avalos.

The name of the shop came simply after a love for koalas. "We likes koalas, we find them very cute," Avalos said. "We just really want to go for that cute and homey feeling and koalas just seemed to be one of those cute animals to use."

Menu items will include a variety of hot, iced and frozen beverages in flavors ranging from honey and cinnamon, butterscotch and caramel, to bourbon caramel and white chocolate.

Koffee Koala's menu will expand in the coming months with the additions of baked goods for customers to enjoy. The store currently offers muffins, but options will branch in to pastries, cupcakes and keto-friendly baked goods as well.

Hours of operation are currently Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Avalos said hours will likely be extended as new employees are hired.

Additional information can be found on Koffee Koala's Facebook page and website.

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