Avocado toast has become a bit of a punchline these days, going so far as to be named the reason why Millennials can't afford to buy houses. But these people have never truly experienced the simple bliss from a perfect piece of sourdough toasted just right with a healthy smattering of ripe avocado and just a pinch good quality salt. It is, in a word (and a bite), perfection. And though a ubiquitous staple of the third wave coffee shop, it is seldom done right.
But Ironsmith Coffee Roasters in La Jolla, California has found a way to ensure their toast is above reproach: opening a cafe inside a bakery. And not just any bakery. They have teamed up with Wayfarer Bread, whose owner Crystal White has spent time honing her craft at the famed Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. Pair a hearty hunk of high quality bread with some of Ironsmith's delicious caffeinated offerings and you've got yourself one hell of a breakfast. Or lunch or dinner or whenever it is that you find yourself inside their beyond lovely cafe. It is a feast for the eyes, the taste buds, and if you'll allow me a moment of grandiosity, the very soul itself.
As told to Sprudge by Alden Hozouri.
For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?
We founded Ironsmith Coffee Roasters in 2014 as a space in the community that offers an unparalleled cup while also supporting local business wherever possible. Leaning heavily on our name, Ironsmith stands for love of the craft and that each cup served is the cumulative sum of our knowledge, efforts, and skill. Our team is comprised of three owners: Matt, Alden, and Kai, as well as a host of incredible team members and baristas.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
The new shop is a joint/collaborative effort with new bakery and local phenomenon Wayfarer Bread. The owner, Crystal White, has a long history in the baking industry, including her most recent tenure at Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. Recognizing the demand for better bread options in San Diego, she bought a one-way ticket down and began baking out of a rented kitchen, offering her wares pop-up style each Sunday morning at our Encinitas shop. She was an instant hit and we all knew she was onto something unlike anything San Diego or southern California has ever seen. Fast forward a year, a successful Kickstarter campaign, and several dozen more “pop-ups,” she secured her own brick-and-mortar in Bird Rock, La Jolla and asked us to take residence as the coffee bar/program inside. We couldn't say yes fast enough. We launched June 3, and the response has been completely overwhelming. From local news stories to Eater publications, we count ourselves fortunate to be welcomed into a community so enthusiastically! We offer a panel of food and pastry options, including breakfast items, sandwiches, salads, croissants, galettes, scones, tartines, and more, alongside a full Ironsmith Coffee espresso bar identical to what you'll find at our first location.
What’s your approach to coffee?
Ironsmith approaches each day with intent to demystify black boxes on the way from seed to cup. From sourcing to roasting and through to extraction, we're focused on understanding what impact we can have in not only delivering a better experience, but why these behaviors have the effect they do. From here, we work hard disseminating this knowledge to both customers and other members of our community, always collaborating wherever possible to create something amazing.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
Yes! We're jazzed to rock on a La Marzocco Linea AV, a Mahlkönig Peak and EK43, and a Mazzer Robur, among other necessities like a Nimbus RO system, and FETCO XTS. All our coffees are direct trade, and we're looking forward to sharing some Colombians, Ethiopians, and Guatemalans from our most recent trips, on both drip and espresso.
What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?
We officially opened June 3!
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
Yes! Huge shout outs to:
-Raul Macias for the all the benches, counters and shelving
-Charles Pennes of White Bark Workwear for the aprons
–Aesthetic Union for the art prints
-Allie Chen for our ceramics
-Tiffany Hohmann for the mural
–Solutions Espresso for helping us get all our equipment!
Thank you too! We're thrilled about what we've built here, and appreciate the opportunity to share it with an even wider audience.
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