Episode #6 Coffee Social Cafe Review
Combine passion, a lifelong dream, and social consciousness and you have Coffee Social. Owner Rachel Young pursued her dreams and has a hit on her hands. Centrally located near Gonzaga University and the bustle of Division / Ruby, is a coffee shop with a conscience.
Spokane transplant, via Post Falls then Seattle, Rachel opened Coffee Social 14 months ago. Through the economic down turn and recession she has managed to grind and brew her way to success. In my opinion, part of that success comes from providing a good, consistent product. Coffee Social makes all its products with organic locally sourced ingredients. From what I tried, that formula equals yummy! Check out the NectarView review and read more of my review below!
Coffee Social sits in an older, non-descript renovated building just 1 block West of Division (113 W. Indiana to be exact). Parking is tight on the sides, but there is more around back. Upon entry, you are greeted with a warm simple interior that will perk you up as much as the coffee. Beyond the lobby and register is a fantastic seating area where you can enjoy games and the free WiFi with your coffee and food. The space is cozy without being overly opulent and large without feeling cavernous.
Wow! I purposely did not eat breakfast because I had a hunch that I would find “all kinds of yumminess” (a direct quote from Rachel). Coffee Social keeps their menu simple and direct with a selection of quiches, sandwiches, soups, salads, and pastries. Follow them on Twitter (@coffeesocial) and you know exactly when the good stuff comes out of the oven. My ham and cheese Quiche was a perfect choice for breakfast. The texture was perfect with the dish cooked all the way through (which is tough for a Quiche sometimes) and the crust still light and flakey. While looking in the food case, an egg nog chocolate pie captured my attention. “All in the name of being a good reviewer,” I told myself, “I must try it.” This is truly a must have! If you’re reading this, STOP, and head straight to Coffee Social and order a slice – in fact, I bet you could order the whole pie for Thanksgiving dinner if you hurry.
DOMA coffee roasters provides the eco-friendly coffee for Coffee Social. (Check out their site to learn more about their roasting process and vision). Their certified organic, fair trade coffee was exceptional. I ordered their Columbian roast, and as always drank it black. The flavor was good with caramel and vanilla undertones. What struck me most was how smooth the finish was. There was zero bitterness on the aftertaste. My next trip to the Social, I’ll have to test Rachael’s barista abilities with a latte or macchiatto.
The restroom was basic and could use some updating. Being a young business start-up, I’m sure Rachel wanted to put her money elsewhere.
Coffee Social truly does support going ‘green.’ Several discounts are offered if you show proof of arriving via bus, riding your bike, or walking (honor system). Rachel also gives back to the community by supporting several local programs with at least 5% of the profits.
This business is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for a number of reasons! Great food, great coffee, supporting local businesses and farmers, eco-friendly, and a great location. Spread the word! Not only will you get a great cup of coffee, you’ll feel good doing it.
As always – enjoy life with friends and DRINK.HAPPY!
Tags: coffee, Nectarview, spokane
6 comments on “Episode #6 Coffee Social Cafe Review”
“Successful” is in the eye of the beholder, and unfortunately most people are unaware of the absolutely horrendous treatment of Coffee Social’s employees by Rachel Young. The latest in a string of employees to walk out over her refusal to pay on-time or cover bounced paycheck charges resulted from what should have been payroll money going to cover the payment on the espresso machine to forestall repossession. This, after refusing to disburse checks the payday before Christmas, instead putting it off until after the holidays.
The ethos of being community-minded and socially-conscious belies the truth of how she treats employees, small local suppliers, and anyone else who has taken a chance to help out a new business only to be burned when the bill came due.
I approved this comment because I’m all for free speach. There are two sides to every story and as a business owner who has put 10’s of thousands of her own dollars and dreams into a business, I’m sure there are answers to these allegations. People should not be persecuted in a public forum without the opportunity to refute the claims.
Fjandr at firstname.lastname@example.org – I would hope that you have made every effort to work out any problems with Rachel and try to walk a mile in her shoes too. I only know Rachel from my review of her business and have no other personal connection with her.
Rachel – do you have a response you would like to post here? If not, we completely understand that private matters be addressed privately.
Thank you for the opportunity to respond. Fjandr is friends with two ex-employees, and is (apparently) not kindly disposed towards me or Coffee Social.
I have invested thousands of dollars into Coffee Social, and thousands of unpaid hours into making this dream of mine a success (I regularly work 50+ hours a week at Coffee Social, in addition to my office job).
I am one week behind on pay for one ex-employee (and was paying him daily from the till to catch up until he chose to quit with no notice). I treat my employees very well – from accommodating schedule needs, to providing draws in advance of payday when I have the money to do so, I sacrifice my own time and money to make sure their needs are met.
I sleep well at night knowing I do all I can to treat my employees fairly and make Coffee Social a success.
Rachel – thanks for taking the time formulate a dignified response. Running a business is challenging and inspirational. Rarely do people risk everything they own to pursue a dream. I wish you continued success and hope that Fjandr and his friends can make amends with you and Coffee Social!
I appreciate that you were willing to post my comment. I understand that it presents a difficult position for you as a reviewer, but given the focus on ethics and accountability within the review I felt it actually had bearing upon what was written.
Unfortunately, I do not see any way toward reconciliation until an honest attempt at financial restitution is made. It required direct intervention from L&I to collect anything that was past due, and then only up to the handful of hour logs that were not “lost.”
Ordinarily I wouldn’t have written any of this. Actually, it’s the first time I have ever done so. I guess I’ve just never before personally seen someone so abuse the trust of others without apology and with no appearance of remorse, all while trumpeting their social conscience and ethical, sustainable business practices. Thank you for your time.
I understand completely if you choose not to post my reply this time around. I know it doesn’t really add anything to what was posted before, and, as far as you know is completely unsubstantiated. Anything worth writing is worth following up on though, so I thank you for your time and patience.
Given the strong nature of my previous comment, I’d like to take the time to post an amendment given significant changes in the operation of Coffee Social. Coffee Social has been purchased by a long-time customer, and is currently under new management. The commentary I posted on how the business is managed is no longer applicable.
Kim, by all accounts, is an excellent manager and employer. While Coffee Social is no longer a strictly organic café (well, it was never /strictly/ organic to begin with, but that’s a minor quibble), it is again being run with an eye toward supporting sustainable agriculture, local connections, and in general providing a great atmosphere. I couldn’t be more pleased with needing to do an about-face with regard to patronizing a business.