By Randall Hauk
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Oliver Stormshak tells WSB that he and business partner Sam Schroeder were excited to choose West Seattle for their fourth location, the company’s first outside of Olympia.
“Sam grew up a few blocks from the new location, and his parents still live there,” says Stormshak. “When we first started looking at possible locations in Seattle, West Seattle was high on our list. … We love it there. It feels like home to us.”
Though the cafe will not open for nearly five months, West Seattleites and others in our city will not have to venture all the way to Olympia to get a taste of the espresso beverages and brewed coffee they can expect to get in their neighborhood this fall. Olympia Coffee will have a residency at the La Marzocco Café at Seattle Center in September, which will provide opportunity for a sneak preview of the coffee that earned Olympia Coffee the title of 2013 Micro Roaster of the Year from coffee-industry magazine Roast.
The accolades do not stop there. Schroeder was the 2015 Barista of the Year for the northwest region in the industry’s top competition.
Getting back to the new West Seattle location: In addition to coffee, the café will offer an assortment of pastries from Olympia bakery Left Bank Pastry. It will also be the first foray into Seattle for Left Bank.
Stormshak says they have yet to determine their specific hours of operation, but knows they’ll be open early, seven mornings per week.
Though each location is slightly unique to suit its neighborhood, visitors to the café can expect a “super-inviting” space with a bright and airy feel. The designer that worked on the company’s original Capitol Boulevard location has been tapped to help bring the company’s dedication to inspiring aesthetics and sustainable practices to their West Seattle operations.
“It will feature big windows that will open out onto the street, weather permitting, to give it an outdoor café feel to the interior,” says Stormshak. “The building is LEED certified. We also use refurbished lumber from wind-felled trees. … We aim for beautiful spaces to inspire our customers.”
The passion for sustainability reaches all aspects of Olympia Coffee’s operations. The company is dedicated to fair-trade practices in securing their coffee beans. Stormshak says working and trading directly with farmers in Africa and Latin America has been an important aspect of Olympia Coffee’s identity from the very beginning.
The company’s practices naturally extend to its staff members. Thurston County has cited Olympia Coffee as an Employer of the Year in consideration of the company’s benefits, work-life balance, opportunities for advancement, and overall culture.
“We have a very strong mission as a company,” explains Stormshak. “We exist to improve the quality of life of those around us.”
Hat tip: Olympia Coffee’s West Seattle plans were first reported by Sprudge.