One of the best things about local, independent coffeehouses is the unique experience they offer their communities. In Seattle, for example, Ancient Grounds is the epitome of self-expression. Fommer’s (www.frommers.com) said “Ancient Grounds is hands down the coolest and most unusual espresso bar in Seattle.” No THAT says something being in the hometown of Starbuck’s.
Rolland, the owner, is deeply passionate about his coffee and his ancient artifacts from around the world. The masks from various native culture surround the space and make one feel comfortably observed.
In our conversation, he shared his biggest challenge in owning a coffeehouse ~ good, trustworthy staff. He has opted to run the entire business himself. He is open Tuesday-Saturday and takes a two days to refresh. In between preparing espressos for the customers that come in from his 1st Avenue location in Downtown, he trades his artifacts online with people he has met in his international travels.
According to him: the best part of his coffeehouse? The people. He fully enjoys being of service in the world. Rolland even hand-writes thank you notes to his guests and customers, personal and from the heart. He called it his “integrity homework”. How does it get any better than this? :)
One pointer he would give to a someone considering opening a new coffeehouse is to diversify the offerings, even if it is to merge it with a business completely different from coffee. After 14 years of operating Ancient Grounds, it should prove to be some sound advise.You can find Rolland at: 1220 1st Avenue Seattle, WA 98101 (206) 749-0747