Fashionably Speaking: Brendon Maxwell
Fort Wayne native Brendon Maxwell founded Utopian Coffee Company in 2006, providing locally roasted coffee to retail and cafe outlets throughout the United States, while also helping to “drive impactful change within international communities in coffee growing regions.” While Maxwell already operated Utopian out of a downtown building for a handful of years, the coffee company is now headquartered in the heart of the newly revitalized Landing district, above their airy and stylish coffee cafe, serving handcrafted drinks as well as a small but diverse and incredibly tasty breakfast and lunch menu. Adjacent to Utopian is Maxwell’s Landing Beer Company, an upscale BBQ and beer joint for families, with vegetarian options, and a nice wine and cocktail menu to complement the brews on tap. Utopian Coffee + Kitchen and Landing Beer Company, in concert with a handful of forward-thinking, plucky local businesses and Cincinnati-based developer Model Group, have transformed Columbia Street from a somehow long neglected slice of the city into a see and be seen destination that has managed to flourish during the pandemic.
What is your style philosophy? Well, I can honestly say that I’ve never thought about my style philosophy. That said, I’ve always respected people who have their own style and just look and feel comfortable in whatever it is that they are wearing.
What is your go-to, no-fail ensemble? My go-to outfit is most often a collared shirt (sleeves rolled ¾) with jeans and casual boots if I don’t have any formal, external meetings.
What’s your guiltiest pleasure? Coffee Ice Cream.
Which book (or album, or concert) changed your life? Mere Christianity by CS Lewis.
Are you a morning person or a night owl? I used to be a night owl and every now and then, still see that manifest, but I radically shifted my schedule after getting married. I love getting up early and being productive in the morning before anyone
else arrives in the office. I also have a very early-rising son, so I often get to see him in the morning before I go to work, which is always fun.
Coffee or tea? I’m an espresso guy, so that’s what I order most often. I might be a bit biased, but Utopian Coffee + Kitchen is my go-to spot, and our cafe miel is a delicious treat!
What’s your preferred method of physical fitness? I really enjoy playing soccer, but if that’s not available, CrossFit is an excellent way to stay in shape. I like to think that I have time to go to MadApple CF, but I usually just end up working out at home with a far inferior setup. And when all else fails, I’ll run a couple of miles here and there to keep the cardio going.
What is your number one fashion indulgence? Strange answer, but I really like bags. And I don’t mean handbags, but travel backpacks. I have an awesome Patagonia Blackhole Duffel that I can take on a 2-week excursion and it fits as a carry-on.
Favorite writing instrument? This is slightly embarrassing, but my most used writing instrument is a multi-color pen. Yes, like the one you used to have in elementary school. It’s a Bic 4 color and I was making fun of a friend for using it and he gave it to me and told me to try it for a week. I then bought several and I haven’t looked back!
As a child, what did you think you’d be doing as an adult? After my 8th grade history class (Thanks, Mr. Downs!), I really wanted to be an explorer. In some ways, I guess that came true, as I do get to travel to very remote regions of the world while sourcing coffee.
What’s the top item on your current bucket list? Travel to Papua New Guinea.
Your favorite vacation destination? Southern CA. I lived there for years and it’s the perfect combination of being refreshed by the ocean air and feeling like I’m settled at home.
What’s one surprising item you currently have in your closet? 100% silk pajamas from overseas. I’m sure that they are incredible, but years later, I still haven’t worn them. They were a gift from my brother who travels internationally a lot.