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Fort Worth coffee shop expands as popularity of shared work space grows

Craftwork Coffee Company doesn't just caffeinate the community-- it also provides a non-traditional place for people to work

FORT WORTH, Texas -- If you need evidence that the traditional workplace is changing, look no further than Craftwork Coffee Co.

The Fort Worth cafe isn't just a spot to eat, meet and chat. It's also a place that serves as their office. "Let's get all that energy and activity from the coffee shop and let's take it into a workspace," said Craftwork's founder and CEO Riley Kiltz.

Craftwork is a coffee shop and coworking space, where people share office space with others in different industries. Coworking is picking up in popularity, especially with freelancers and entrepreneurs, Kiltz said. One recent study estimated that in 2020, 40 percent of the workforce will be made up of entrepreneurs and solopreneurs.

"If you're a freelancer, it's just you and your office and it's dead quiet," he said, "so we try to create a space where people have connection and community, while they're working towards their goals."

Craftwork is a bit different than other coworking models, as they always have a coffee shop connected to them. It's a model you're about to see explode. Craftwork recently acquired a Houston-based coworking company and plans to expand in DFW, Austin and Houston, bringing their total number of spots eventually to 18. The idea for the new spots is to build them within apartment complexes and residential communities.

They're targeting people like Gabe Williams, who says he recently left Nike and moved back to Fort Worth to start his own shoe line.

"I was officing out of my grandmother's home," he said of his situation when he first moved back. "Litter box to my right."

Then he learned of Craftwork. He'd never coworked before, but isn't looking back now.

"I think that's the future," Williams said. "Especially for us younger generation, we don't want to be chained to a desk."

But this coffee shop is just the place to set up their own shops.

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