Olympia Coffee chooses West Seattle for first café outside Washington’s capital city

(WSB photo – Olympia Coffee Roasting’s future West Seattle home at Rally)

By Randall Hauk
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

West Seattle coffee enthusiasts can look forward to this October, when award-winning Olympia Coffee Roasting Co. will open a café at 3840 California SW, in the Rally complex.

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.

18 Replies to "Olympia Coffee chooses West Seattle for first café outside Washington's capital city"

  • LatteRose May 11, 2017 (12:45 pm)

    Oooh, looking forward to that!

  • ANN Schumann May 11, 2017 (1:00 pm)

    Can’t wait to try the coffee and pastries!   

  • Swede. May 11, 2017 (1:17 pm)

    This sounds great! 

    Welcome to the neighborhood. 

  • Pauline Aldrich May 11, 2017 (1:31 pm)

    going to have to sell a lot of coffee to pay the rent in that area     but i will try it

  • Jon B May 11, 2017 (2:58 pm)

    This is great news. We lived in West Olympia for a few years, not far from the Oly Roasting outpost. It is the best neighborhood coffee shop we’ve ever known–consistently outstanding beans and excellent baristas. I always make a point of stopping by to pick up beans when passing through the capital. Hotwire is going to have their work cut out for them!

    However, this is not quite Olympia Roasting’s first venture outside Olympia. They operate a cafe inside one of the Amazon towers downtown, not open to the public. I imagine that figuring out their supply lines in a captured-audience setting was a good stepping stone toward this new cafe.

    • WSB May 11, 2017 (2:59 pm)

      Hmm. We’ll check on that. Maybe, first public café?

  • justme May 11, 2017 (3:29 pm)

    Sound and Fog near the junction sells their coffee and it’s goooood!

  • Chris D. May 11, 2017 (10:51 pm)

    I’ve been to the store in Olympia, impressive. Welcome to the neighborhood.

  • mep May 12, 2017 (7:33 am)

    fog horns blowing-mist rising from the sea-rain pelting against the windows-delicious sun streaming down from above-birds chirping happily-and a steaming hot cup of coffee before me…….

  • Meagan May 12, 2017 (8:07 am)

    Yipppeee!!! Cannot wait!

  • T Chief May 12, 2017 (8:20 am)

    I’ve known Sam since the youth soccer and elementary schools days. He’s a great guy and comes from a good west seattle family. It’s awesome to see he’s doing something successful and bringing it back to the roots of where he grew up! Can’t wait to visit the new shop!

  • Lisa May 12, 2017 (10:08 pm)

    I’m a part of Charlestown Professional Group, and we’re your neighbors in the Rally complex! We are dying for some great coffee on the block.  Welcome!!

  • JavaLover May 13, 2017 (10:11 am)

    Sound & Fog carries their coffee.  Surprised they would open so close to them.   Not good business IMO.  

    • WSB May 13, 2017 (10:28 am)

      That’s not very close – at least a mile. I believe there are other instances of roasters who have their own cafes close to coffee clients – we breakfasted today at Endolyne Joe’s, which has a big sign saying it uses Ladro coffee, and Ladro has its own cafe in Morgan …

      • Marc May 15, 2017 (2:44 pm)

        Agreed, especially in this area where it seems a shop will draw most of its customers from within about a mile radius. The more we focus on building a walking friendly environment, the more small shops will be able to survive. I look forward very much to an option between Hotwire and Freshy’s!

  • Cam and Will May 13, 2017 (11:07 am)

    Great work, Sam and company!  We are excited to be among your first customers in West Seattle!!

  • Moose May 15, 2017 (2:05 pm)

    Super pumped! I go down to Olympia just to stop at the shop. Drink their coffee every morning at Honor at Benaroya. Stoked that W. Seattle is getting the 1st one!

  • TAMARA A USON May 20, 2017 (8:52 pm)

    We live right behind the new location and can’t wait!

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