If there's been one trend we keep seeing time and again in the 2019 Build-Outs of Summer, it's the continued growth of roaster-only operations into their own cafe spaces. And it continues today with 1802 Roasters in Los Angeles, California.
Starting off primarily selling their coffee in farmers markets around LA, 1802 Roasters has spent the past four years building a following and is finally ready for a coffee shop of their very own. Now serving the Cypress Park neighborhood and surrounding areas, is focused on their local community and doing so in a sustainable fashion. They're even going to be hosting farmers markets of their own! It's a cool story and one that we love to tell here on Sprudge. So let's check in with 1802 Roasters in Los Angeles, California, now in their soft open.
As told to Sprudge by Christian Degracia.
For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?
We’re a Los Angeles based roaster in the neighborhood of Cypress Park. We started operations in 2015 servicing local neighborhoods around us, i.e. Glassell Park, Mt. Washington, Lincoln Height, and of course Cypress Park. In 2016, we began selling at the downtown LA Historic Core Farmers’ Market and then expanded into three farmers’ markets by the beginning of 2017.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
We found the Cypress Park space in the middle of 2017 and had secured the lease by early 2018. We have tried to implement Universal Access Design and Sustainable Principles as much as we can in the 2,000-sq-ft. space. The space will house our roastery and cafe and will have ample outdoor seating for everybody to enjoy. Our location is flanked by Frogtown/LA River on one side and Mt. Washington on the other, so we want to take advantage of the picturesque views of the hills of Northeast LA by maximizing outdoor spaces, which includes a back patio and a deck. One other feature of the space we are very excited about is the parking area, because it will allow us to hold seasonal events, markets, and other community focused gatherings in the future.
What’s your approach to coffee?
Serve great quality coffee while promoting reciprocity between business and community. Making the process of roasting coffee visible creates a greater understanding of where things come from and how they are produced. The intention is that this will help create a more knowledgeable consumer base while making the business responsible to them, creating reciprocity between the two and eliminating “bottom line” decisions that could harm the community, such as using polluting or toxic chemicals in production.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
We’re excited to get going on our new San Franciscan SF-10 along with our Huky 500T Sample Roaster. For the coffee bar, a Synesso MVP two-group will be paired with a Mahlkönig K30 Twin grinder to offer two kinds of espresso daily. A Wilbur Curtis five gallon hot water tower and Baratza Forte BG grinders will be utilized at our three-station Hario V60 Pour-over Bar that we've gotten accustomed to since our farmers' market days. A Crysalli dispensing system for purified and carbonated water and Optipure BWS175 reverse osmosis filtration system to manage water TDS for use at the bar.
We will have a “Red Bag,” an exclusive line of coffee, if you will, that will focus on less common coffee regions or varieties. This line will be launched at the same time the shop opens, and we have a delicious Sitio Belis Red Honey Process from the Philippines to kick it off.
How is your project considering sustainability?
We worked with the original footprint of the building, reducing our ecological impact. We used natural earth clay plaster on a majority of the interior walls inside, which is non-toxic and mold resistant. Low-VOC paint was set as a minimum standard for the remainder of the finishes. We used natural wool insulation, repurposed old beams, and have reused whatever we can from the space, e.g.: light box signage, railings etc.
Reclaimed bowling alley wood was used for both the coffee bar and customer seating counter. Reclaimed Redwood, from Northern California ranches, was selected for the side paneling along the bar. Wood certified by Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) was used for the structural framing, building the bar, repairing the deck, and for the planters on the back patio. We also selected interior seating made out of wood waste and recycled plastic.
Per the EPA WaterSense Program, domestic water use makes up almost one-third of water usage in a restaurant setting. To help conserve water, we installed low flow aerated faucets and low flow-dual flush toilets that are both California Energy Commission (CEC) Compliant and CalGreen Compliant.
We are also mindful of refrigeration and air conditioning systems installed. For refrigeration, all under-counter refrigerators use environmentally friendly R290 Refrigerant which has an Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) of 0 and a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 3, making it a great choice for the shop. Per the recent California Building Energy Efficiency Standards, a minimum Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) Rating of 14 is required for all new AC installation, we elected to install an 18 SEER unit for the shop for additional efficiency, even if it costs a little bit more. The windows installed throughout the shop are Low Emissivity – Argon windows for extra insulation to keep cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
LED Lighting has been installed throughout the shop, incorporating motion sensors in the breakroom and bathrooms, and timers and solar powered lighting for the exterior to conserve energy.
Winter 2019 was one of the wetter winters for Los Angeles; during this time we noticed the amount of stormwater that would run off our lot to adjacent properties or directly into the storm drain system. Keeping this in mind we designed the back patio to direct, disperse and retain rain water by using a combination of decomposed granite to provide a permeable surface and slow the flow of water, infiltration trenches to provide a place for water to retain and deposit and changing the grade to direct water from the parking lot and patio into these key areas.
What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?
Hoping for the planets to align and open by late August.
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
Cypress Park is one of the smaller Northeast LA neighborhoods and is a tight-knit community full of talented individuals; we saw this as an opportunity to collaborate with local artists and businesses alike. We've teamed up with Verity Freebern of Verity Freebern Designs for the design of both of our retail packages, Jasmine Navarro of Small Fry Designs for the building sign painting, and Jimmy M. with the help of Washington P. for designing and painting the outside murals. Crystal Weintrub-Degracia, our co-founder, is the project manager and designer of the new space, combining her experience in Sustainability and Design.
Thank you for the chance to participate in Sprudge’s 2019 Build-Outs of Summer Series. We also wanted to take this chance to thank everyone for their continued support and to those who have supported us from the very beginning.
The Build-Outs Of Summer is an annual series on Sprudge. Live the thrill of the build all summer long in our Build-Outs feature hub.