Rock Rabbit!!!! Makes me want to get up and dance 80’s style! The name is reminiscent of the 80’s song by the B-52’s, Rock Lobster.
Dan and his partners have created a space in Pinedale, Wyoming that screams music. They have a stage and several big monitors looping musical performances including Jimmy Buffet, The Doobie Brothers and Phil Collins. I was able to attend their Tuesday Open Mic Night and was simply blown away by the talent in that town with a population of 2,030. If you count the people who live in the outlying areas it goes over 5,000 of the most talented people per capita I’ve every been around (as if that accounts for much). Five musicians performed their own music with guitars or a keyboard … AMAZING!!! Oh, and one comedian who was allowed to give one joke (Jeff) LOL!!
They serve coffee roasted in Wyoming and make most of their goodies from scratch. I devoured “The Big Fat Rolled One” one morning that knocked my socks off; for some reason I took a nap shortly afterward.
Rock Rabbit Coffee & Bistro
432 Pine St
Pinedale, WY 82941
Isn’t it great to be local?
Jake’s Brew Bar … is a “brew” bar serving brewed coffee and brewed beer! Clever, eh? They have been open about 12 months, and today have tons of business walking through the doors in the revitalized Main Street of Downtown Littleton, Colorado.
Barista Matt was gracious from the moment I walked in the door, offering a friendly smile with a kind demeanor. He made me feel at home for the afternoon I spent in the front window writing and blogging.
They have chosen two different local roasters as their coffee vendors: Novo Coffee and Corvus Coffee; both are well respected roasters in Colorado.
Some coffeehouses are heavy on one type of customer or the other; you may see mostly students or a lot of artists. This place seemed to draw a nice blend of the community with folks chatting with each other comparing qualities of local craft beer and a few folks sitting at their computers sending last minute emails on a Friday afternoon.
Jake’s was named after the owner’s father, Jacob Barth. He is from Albuquerque, NM and served in the Army during of WWII. Owners, Janie and her daughter, Vanessa, also own a wine bar around the corner off of Main St. called Katie’s ~ named after her mother.
It is a family affair! Step in during the Western Welcome Week coming up this summer.
Luvin’ local, Lisa
Jake’s Brew Bar
2540 W. Main Street
Littleton, CO 80120
Paris on the Platte’s Sidewalk Sandwich Sign in LoDo, Denver
I had a long conversation yesterday with a coffeehouse owner about the business of owning a coffeehouse … you know, the challenges associated with keeping it going on a daily basis. “The margin in coffee is just so low”, he said.
His coffeehouse has been in Denver for over 20 years and also has experience in fine dining. He has chosen to diversify his offerings to include alcohol and live music in the evenings. The location of the coffeehouse used to be a popular destination, but now sits on a very busy neighborhood street and feels it is lost in the shuffle.
He indicated these as his biggest challenges:
- Keeping overhead low; especially getting reasonable pricing on dry goods and condiments from suppliers
- Attracting and keeping knowledgeable, involved baristas
- Staying abreast of the growing, changing coffee culture both locally and globally in the midst of a 7-day work week
- Finding that niche again: offering unique products, services that keep customers returning
This is where I’d love to help by creating a community of coffeehouse owners to support each other, where they can build camaraderie and brainstorm ideas. Where I could assist them in building a co-op to purchase products and services that help their bottomline while maintaining a thriving local economy. Let’s just do it!
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to find out more about my vision.
Luvin’ Local, Lisa
One of the best things about local, independent coffeehouses is the unique experience they offer their communities. In Seattle, for example, Ancient Grounds is the epitome of self-expression. Fommer’s (www.frommers.com) said “Ancient Grounds is hands down the coolest and most unusual espresso bar in Seattle.” No THAT says something being in the hometown of Starbuck’s.
Rolland, the owner, is deeply passionate about his coffee and his ancient artifacts from around the world. The masks from various native culture surround the space and make one feel comfortably observed.
Inside Ancient Grounds, Seattle WA
In our conversation, he shared his biggest challenge in owning a coffeehouse ~ good, trustworthy staff. He has opted to run the entire business himself. He is open Tuesday-Saturday and takes a two days to refresh. In between preparing espressos for the customers that come in from his 1st Avenue location in Downtown, he trades his artifacts online with people he has met in his international travels.
According to him: the best part of his coffeehouse? The people. He fully enjoys being of service in the world. Rolland even hand-writes thank you notes to his guests and customers, personal and from the heart. He called it his “integrity homework”. How does it get any better than this? 🙂
One pointer he would give to a someone considering opening a new coffeehouse is to diversify the offerings, even if it is to merge it with a business completely different from coffee. After 14 years of operating Ancient Grounds, it should prove to be some sound advise.
You can find Rolland at:
1220 1st Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101