After being shuttered for more than four months, Aura Coffee reopened its doors this past weekend, with several new features premiering soon in the shop.

Aura, at 1306 W. Hickory St. across from the University of North Texas campus, had been closed since Christmas Day amid the pandemic, but managed to bring back all but one of its employees for this month’s reopening. Aura is also planning to expand its in-house offerings, with vegan retailer Mashup Market to operate a vegan bakery counter inside the coffee shop.

The partnership is just the beginning of what Aura has in store. The shop also plans to introduce a bulk herb store and begin blending its own custom teas, as well as have an energy medicine practitioner in the shop’s back office. Mashup Market will be open during Aura’s regular hours to offer vegan snacks, and shoppers of the main Mashup location off East Oak Street can also pick up items at the satellite location, Aura owner Kim McKibben said.

Employees returned to the storefront a week ago to begin prepping for this weekend. Though McKibben wasn’t sure last week when Mashup Market would open, she expects it’ll be soon, with equipment set to be delivered Sunday.

The coffee shop is also hoping to host some pop-up booths for local artists and other vendors in the future, including Denton Community Market regulars. Although the summer months are usually slow, Aura received a Paycheck Protection Program loan to help cover employees’ pay, and McKibben hopes a new outreach campaign and the shop’s partnerships will bring in more customers.

All of Aura’s employees have received the COVID-19 vaccine, but they will continue to mask up and ask customers to do the same, since staff cannot be certain who is and isn’t vaccinated, McKibben said.

While Aura will look a little different from what customers remember, staff members hope the changes only add to the shop’s offerings as they celebrate serving the Denton community again.

“We’ve been standing here and holding our ground all this time, and we hope we can continue to do that,” McKibben said.

AMBER GAUDET can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @amb_balam.

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