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‘It was heartbreaking:’ Anchor Island Coffee looking to rebuild after vehicle crashes into building

Posted at 5:53 PM, Sep 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-22 11:04:49-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Anchor Island Coffee, the first tropical coffee shop in the Kansas City metro area, is facing its biggest test of adversity after a vehicle collided into the building Tuesday night.

Kansas City, Missouri, police officers responded to a reported hit-and-run at the intersection of 41st Street and Troost Avenue at 6:35 p.m.

Surveillance video shows two vehicles colliding at the intersection, with the initial impact forcing one of the vehicles to redirect and strike the front entrance of the coffee shop. The people in that vehicle then ran from the scene.

Armando Vasquez, one of the founders of Anchor Island Coffee, was at home when he found out about the crash. Once he saw the damage, he said he was heartbroken.

“We put a lot of work into our shop,” Vasquez said. “We put a lot of effort, a lot of hours, a lot of time. Everything we could put into our business, we have done it. So it was [heartbreaking] to see how it got destroyed, but it was also out of [our] control.”

Vasquez was happy no one was hurt and thankful everyone was out of the building when the crash happened.

Neighbors even helped clean up the mess, picking up glass and debris for hours.

“We really felt so loved at that moment to see so many people coming to help,” Vasquez said.

Given the suddenness of what happened, Vasquez had to find a way to tell customers that the store would be closed indefinitely.

“I just went live on Instagram and then Facebook to tell them, 'This is what happened, this is our store right now, and we don’t know what’s next,'” Vasquez said.

Vasquez said his main concern is finding a fast way to open back up so they can pay their employees.

“We hope to do pick-up only or at least a walk-up window,” Vasquez said. “If we do a dine-in, we might just do it on the second floor. We have an entrance in the back that people can use and just dine-in from there.”

Vasquez and co-owner Mike Hastings said insurance wouldn't cover their individual building because the entire building wasn't damaged. Their landlord only has liability insurance, forcing the owners to pay out-of-pocket for the damage.

But despite the current circumstances, Vasquez is keeping a positive outlook.

“This situation is not the best, but it’s also not the worst because nobody’s hurt,” Vasquez said. “We just have to wait right now to see how we can figure out the details and reopen again because we need to be able to be open. Our customers are waiting for us.”