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The Spark Coffee bolsters Speedway community during Month of May

The Spark builds community for race fans

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — The Spark Coffee is located on the corner of 14th and Main Street in Speedway. Though it’s known for its quality roasts and treats, it’s just as known for its role as a community builder.

The shop opened in the summer of 2021, and has quickly become a staple in the area, especially ahead of the Indianapolis 500 each year.

People from all over the world travel to the small town each year to attend the race. According to The Spark’s Owner and Operator Jeff Shields, the coffee shop is often one of their first stops.

“People have started come into town, and they’re here,” Shields told News 8 Sunday. “We’ll start getting customers that are just here for the Month of May. They’re coming in every day. I just saw one walk in. She comes here every year and she comes and gets a decaf.

That increase in customers means a substantial boost to their already thriving business.

“For most small businesses in Speedway, and us included, May is like the ramp all the way up, and then you hit the pinnacle of the business year,” Shields said. “Our business will increase three, four, and fivefold just in this month.”

Preparation for the onslaught of visitors starts months ahead of time. From curating specialty drinks to installing portable toilets behind the café for customer use, there’s not a logistic left unthought of. That preparation has allowed The Spark to become the race day pillar it is. One example of their necessity: they sold 359 breakfast sandwiches just on race day in 2023.

The coffee shop also has a trailer, which acts as an extension of their Speedway storefront.

The Spark Coffee’s trailer (WISH Photo)

The trailer will be parked on 16th Street in front of the IMS Gate 2 entrance during the race’s qualifiers and on race day.

Shields said he is grateful for the role the shop plays during May, but he is especially focused on building community in the area.

As a part of that mission, The Spark displays art made by local creators each month and hosts musicians from the area regularly.

For more information on The Spark, click here.