Coworking, Coffee, and Cocktails at Covo
Entrepreneurs from the coasts aren’t always eager to move their budding businesses to the Midwest, but Covo founder Rebecca Brian-Pan saw a unique opportunity in St. Louis.
Pan is a pioneer in coworking; she started NextSpace in San Francisco long before the current boom of the modernized workspace. After she cofounded NextSpace, it grew from a one-unit startup into a nationwide, nine-unit industry leader, ranked number one in the country in 2014.
This early success and experience led her to found Covo. The Covo brand differentiates itself from other coworking options with a variety of services, hourly drop-in rates, an in-house food and beverage program, and community at its core.
From the Bay to the Gateway
In 2016, the flagship Covo space opened in San Francisco, founded on the concept of collaboration, community, and vocation; hence, the name Covo. As Pan tells EQ, “so many of the large-operation coworking spaces have lost their sense of community and connection.”
Therefore, Covo is about providing entrepreneurs with a space not only for working, but a place to unwind and interact with the internal community and other professionals in the area.
After success in San Francisco, the Covo team started looking towards expansion and were drawn to the momentum happening in the St. Louis startup scene. She says, “we wanted to prove that our initial success wasn’t an anomaly, and we found this city possesses a humility we don’t see very often in the Bay Area.”
Brian Pan and her team have also been impressed with the caliber of startups in the area, and the work of organizations like Arch Grants. “They (Arch Grants) support entrepreneurs in such a unique way that contributes to the overall success of this ecosystem, and we love being so aligned with the mission statement of community that exists in St. Louis.”
Coffee, Cocktails, and Community
As you enter the beautifully restored Mississippi Valley Trust Building, the focal point of the room is the coffee/craft cocktail bar, aptly named Trust. “When we walked through the door we were so blown away that a building like this was available, says Brian Pan. Less than two weeks later the space was theirs and the second outpost of Covo was born.
The cocktail menu at Trust has been carefully constructed by Artesian Well STL, a cocktail consulting service for the hospitality industry. The menu is seasonally updated and the attention to detail and excellence is apparent from your first sip.
Trust Cocktail Bar is also open to the public and hosts a lively happy hour service most days. Trust serves as a great option where members can conduct business meetings over drinks without ever leaving the confines of their “office”.
By the Hour, by the Month, or for the Perfect Event
Currently, Covo is the only space in St. Louis that offers an hourly rate for coworking. For just two dollars an hour, you can take advantage of all that Covo has to offer—sans commitment. “We wanted to create an accessible product that allowed people to pop in and out between meetings,” says Brian Pan.
If you are a non-commitment-phobe entrepreneur, the monthly opportunities come with a variety of features and life enhancements not offered elsewhere in St. Louis. There is a nap room, healthy vending machines, a loyalty program for Trust Cocktail Bar, and a bike room among many others. Plus, the space is pet-friendly! The membership opportunities range from $75 unlimited monthly drop-ins to dedicated private office spaces starting at $400 per month.
Another opportunity afforded by Covo is the beautiful event spaces offered in the newly restored building. There are beautiful copper ceilings, period finishes, and even an Arch-view patio available for events both large and small. They have hosted intimate gatherings, weddings, and conferences of up to 400 attendees.
St. Louis and Beyond
Covo plans to expand beyond San Francisco and St. Louis, but the founders have chosen a “slow and steady” approach in comparison to the fast-paced scaling of other competitors.
At Covo, community isn’t just a tagline. Taking the time to get to know and embed themselves in a community is an investment that’s close to the heart and soul of what Covo is building.