Life comes at you fast. One minute you are sitting in your cafe of almost 10 years and the next minute you are scrambling to find a new location. That’s the story of Augie’s Coffee Roasters in Redlands, California. After losing the lease on their original Little Red Building, Augie’s had less than a month to find a new location, make it shop ready, and get everything moved in. But thanks to the help of friends, family, and customers, they were able to close their first space at regular hours and have everything ready to roll at Augie’s 2.0 by opening time the next day.
Sometimes you get by with the help of your friends. I’d wager the friends in this case were handsomely rewarded with coffee.
As told to Sprudge by Austin Amento.
For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?
We have been in our iconic red brick building in downtown Redlands for almost 10 years. Starting as just a father/son team in 2009, we became obsessed with specialty coffee and becoming involved in our local community. We spent our last $10k on a roaster in 2011 and turned around our business almost immediately. Since then we’ve grown to four stores (with two in the very near future), we’ve worked with local artists, musicians, schools, businesses, and charities to help better our community.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
In the first week of May we learned that we were being kicked out of our original location with no notice. We literally had three weeks to open our space before being out of our store. Fortunately, we were offered a lease on a space we couldn’t have dreamed up. It was clearly the solution—it needed only a facelift, and the licenses were still valid pending an inspection since the previous business had closed within the last year. The business also included the option of a beer and wine license. For the entirety of that month, we worked around the clock—painting, cleaning, arranging equipment, putting in a new bar, counter top, and doing tile work. All the hard work and energy that went into this space paid off; we passed our initial inspections and were given the green light to open. We didn’t skip a beat; customers piled in to show support, and to check out the “new digs,” nicknamed Augies 2.0. The space lends itself to opportunity. It sports an additional bathroom, a big wall of floor-to-ceiling windows providing gorgeous natural light, a naturally shaded patio with tons of greenery, a modest kitchen, and a big open layout. Immediately, this space retained the liveliness and energy the previous one was so known for.
What’s your approach to coffee?
Coffee is the priority. We seek farm direct relationships with our coffee buying and update coffee offerings frequently. Our menu is approachable to a wide audience, with the focus being making everything from scratch as much as possible. We have rotating pour-overs, single origin espressos, and single origin cold brew, but we also have incredible flavored lattes and seasonal drinks made with house-made syrups.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
We just got a beautiful MVP Hydra from Synesso that we had painted red and customized with gold and wood accents. We also have a Seraphim and a Curtis batch brewer, and a Mahlkönig EK 43 S. New barista toys for a new chapter.
What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?
We opened May 29. We closed our old location at 9 pm (regular hours) and with the incredible help of our staff and loyal customers, moved our furniture, dry goods, and equipment up the street to the new location and it opened at 6 am (also regular hours).
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
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