18 Mar 2010
Before there was a Starbucks, Seattle’s Best, or Dunkin’ Donuts on every corner, there was Lindaman’s Café in Spokane. For 26 years Lindaman’s has been providing homemade goodness for dine in or to go from their 12th and Grand location in the St. Johns district of the lower South Hill. The magic of Lindaman’s is the community. The food is home cooked. The desserts are divine. The bottom line is that the people care about you and your experience.
When Lindaman’s began, in 1984, there were only two espresso machines in Spokane. My, how times have changed. Merrilee Lindaman and her brother would go through 1000 pounds of coffee per week. Their concept, then and now, is unique; a collection of rotating and standard pre-made meals made with the highest quality ingredients are presented in a display case when you walk in. You choose your dinner, choose your drink and either eat it in their beautiful building, outside on the patio, or take it to go. During my visit the case included lasagna, quiche, breaded shrimp, baked macaroni and cheese, tortellini, and so much more. After 26 years, Merrilee still determines how to cook it and what to cook and enjoys getting involved and making the food, especially the desserts. Oh, the desserts – German Chocolate Cake, Carrot Cake, Pot de Crème, Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake, the list goes on and on. “I do everything I can do to give people a good experience,” says Merrilee.
Lindaman’s is truly a community gem. For 18 years the ad budget was supporting charities. 50-60% of her customers eat at Lindaman’s daily. Of her 24 employees, 11 of them have been with her for 12 years or more. Recently Lindaman’s has gotten involved in Social Media through Facebook (one of the reasons of our visit). While Merrilee is still finding her voice in the new world, she sees a huge opportunity to help connect her customers to Lindaman’s and the charities they support.
Lindaman’s serves only DOMA coffee. DOMA is a premier maker of coffee in the United States. The Inland Northwest is lucky to have them. Two of Spokane’s best coffee alchemists work at Lindaman’s. How many café’s can boast of having a skilled barista of 18 years (Kirk) and 12 years (Zack)? If you’re not impressed by the quality coffee, just ask for some latte art. You’ll see skills that unmatched in this city (and most other cities too).
Aside from your usual fair, you MUST TRY Café Corretto. The magical blend of liqueur and espresso is what they will serve in heaven for breakfast. Put your fears and preconceptions aside and order The European (Espresso, Sambuca, half n half) or the Lady Godiva (Espresso, white chocolate liqueur, half n half). These drinks will have you re-thinking your alcohol before noon rule (actually there is not enough alcohol in the drink to have any effect – it’s added for flavor).
Lindaman’s is a place I could take up residence in. Coffee in the morning, Café Corretto mid morning, great lunch with a glass of wine, desserts to die for, dinner with more wine in the evening and herb infused hard drinks and Pot de Crème for a night cap. While the wine bar is not extensive (10 or so by the glass and 20 or so by the bottle), the prices are fair and the selection is unique. Beyond the wine you will find some unique and special herb infused martini and mojito drinks.
On the Web at www.lindamans.com
Open Monday – Saturday 8AM – 9PM
1235 S. Grand Spokane, WA 99202
Lindaman’s is also available for catering your special event.
12 Jan 2010
Do you know where your coffee comes from? With words like Fair Trade, Direct Trade, Organic and Third Wave thrown around the coffee industry without much regulation, how can you trust where your coffee comes from?
DOMA (a name mash up of the owner’s sons Dominic and Marco) Coffee Roasting Company of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho is the ONLY member of the exclusive Cooperative Coffees in the Northwest (one of 22 in the US). What does this mean? DOMA has a direct relationship with the farmer who grows the coffee. By direct, we mean so direct as to physically spend time with the farmer helping them with farming practices, sharing growing and roasting information and actually working on the farm at different times. There is NO middle man. DOMA even provides proof of shipping records, receipts, and prices paid through www.fairtradeproof.org Can your coffee company say that?
In talking with owners Terry and Rebecca Patano it is evident that three things are important to them; the environment, quality, and relationships.
Some companies advertise organic coffee as a means to jump on the ‘green’ money train. DOMA lives sustainability in every aspect of their business. Certified organic roaster, 100% biodegradable bags, compost or recycle all waste material, all print materials are on recycled paper, non toxic cleaning agents and roasting on a Loring Smart Roaster (saves the equiv. of 2000 gallons of natural gas per year). All of this is in addition to the direct relationship with the farmers (as mentioned above). These efforts lead to better coffee.
While at DOMA Coffee Roasting Company, I had the privilege of watching a roasting. The 50lb batch was treated with care from the loading of the green beans to the frequent monitoring of the roaster while the temperature rose to 400 degrees. Every few minutes the beans were checked for color, quality, and aroma to ensure the perfect quality roast. At just the right moment, Jim (the roaster), smelled and saw what he was looking for and stopped the machine releasing the beautiful beans into the container. I’ve got to tell you that this was THE single most beautiful coffee smell I have ever encountered. The direct relationship ensures the quality of the original product, DOMA “takes and turns it into something special,” says Terry.
The focus on quality continues with the relationships they have with the retailers who use and sell their coffee. Each coffee stand, café, and coffee shop must go through a training program, led by trainer Greg Hjort. Greg teaches the proper techniques for brewing, pulling shots, service, and even fancy espresso art! DOMA will work with new businesses to get their systems in place, provide input on counter set up, and more. Greg makes his rounds for quality control and to provide continuing education. What does this mean to you? It means that you will always get a quality cup of coffee or espresso wherever DOMA is sold.
When I asked what was on the horizon for DOMA Coffee Roasting Company as they celebrated their 10th year in business, Rebecca spoke to the continued desire to get better and refine the quality of the product, training and relationships they have. The whole Patano family is getting ready for an upcoming trip to a Peruvian farm to work side by side with the farmers for two weeks. Terry and Rebecca also swore me to secrecy about an upcoming “change” that they were super excited for. They also have visions of a new ‘green’ certified location at some point in the future.
When you’re out for coffee and you see the DOMA Coffee Roasting Company name, trust that you’re going to get a GREAT product that has been grown with care, tested and refined with passion, roasted with quality, and brewed with consistency.
Visit them on the internet at www.domacoffee.com and soon in the Social Media world!