Olympia Coffee Roasting Co. has opened its new location, a combination cafe, roasting area and cupping lab that fills out 6,000 square feet at the corner of Fourth Avenue East and Cherry Street.
What a difference 10 months makes.
That’s the time it took Bicycle Construction of Olympia to complete the majority of the expansion, transforming Olympia Coffee from a charming but confined operation around the corner on Cherry Street to one that feels big, bright and inviting.
The new cafe, with its high ceilings and tall windows, encircles the espresso bar and seats about 50. There’s bar seating, built-in benches and plenty of outlets to plug in and log on.
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And from inside the cafe, customers can watch the coffee cupping lab at work — it’s open for a public program at 10 a.m. Fridays — or the coffee roasting area, which is now home to a German-made coffee roasting machine that can roast up to 50 pounds of beans, doubling the capacity of the company’s previous machine, Olympia Coffee co-owner Oliver Stormshak, 38, said.
They hired a company to find the German roaster because of the quality of its roast, he said. Built in 1955, the machine, called a Gohot, was tracked down in a town in Austria that was using it for a chain of bakeries. The roaster was later restored in Berlin and then flown to the Northwest.
Despite all the changes at Olympia Coffee, the mission of the business remains the same, Stormshak said.
“To improve the quality of life for our farmers, staff and customers,” he said, adding that they source coffee from all over the world.
On that note, co-owner Sam Schroeder was traveling and visiting a farmer in Colombia and missed the expansion grand opening, Stormshak said.
Outdoor seating is coming, Stormshak added, and the covered bench that occupied a spot outside the old Cherry Street address has simply moved down the street, closer to Fourth Avenue. The Cherry Street location will be used for employee training, he said.
“I love it,” said customer Madison Sola about the expansion. Sola, who works downtown, stopped by the new cafe on Monday, its opening day. A longtime customer, Sola praised the coffee and the baristas.
“We all like to support them,” she said.
Don’t forget dessert, Stormshak said. Coffee abounds, but there’s also the affogato — vanilla bean ice cream with a hot shot of espresso poured over it — or the Nitro Float, a combination of Olympia Coffee’s cold brewed product with ice cream.
Olympia Coffee Roasting Co.
Owners: Oliver Stormshak, Sam Schroeder, Andrew Schroeder.
Location: 600 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia.
Type of business: Retail and wholesale coffee roaster and cafe business. Wholesale customers, which represent 60 percent of the Olympia Coffee business, include the Olympia Food Co-op, Blue Heron Bakery and Schoolhouse Coffee in Lacey.
Years in business: Olympia Coffee opened in 2005; Stormshak and the Schroeders bought the business in 2010.
Hours: The new cafe is open 6:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays.
Advice to business owners: Plan, plan, plan, Stormshak said, including business, action and mission plans for the business.
Did you know? Over the summer, Olympia Coffee Roasting became the first recipient of the city’s “Grow Olympia Fund,” a small business loan program that provides low-interest loans for several business needs, including expansion.