Jack Mormon. 1: a non-Mormon living in a Mormon community and sympathetic to or on friendly terms with his neighbors.
**Coffee is prohibited in the Mormon religion.**
This coffee “shop” wasn’t a shop at all but more of a roastery that serves coffee, in a largely Mormon town. Located in northern Salt Lake City and tucked away on a side street neighborhood sits Jack Mormon Coffee. A cute little place with some street parking out front; turned the van off and headed inside.
Walked through the door and was immediately intrigued by the setup of the shop. There were rows and rows of coffee bean dispensers, I felt as if I was in the candy aisle of Wegmans. Tons of shelves containing coffee makers, T-shirts, mugs, candy, and all sorts of fun memorabilia. I even got to experience my first Sonofresco one pound roasters in action. There were four of them towards the back of the store. I then introduced myself to the baristas, Emily and Austin. They were stoked I was there and suddenly introduced me to the owner of Jack Mormon, Cruser Rowland.
Cruser was a fun guy and I am happy I had the pleasure to meet him. Thrilled with energy, he began telling me all about the shop. Then, suddenly he paused to ask me if I had anywhere to be. I replied, “Nope, just driving across the country interviewing coffee shops!”, and an amazing full-tour ensued. He let me go behind the counter and follow him all around the shop and upstairs to show me his plans of making the upstairs into additional seating and possibly a place to host cupping events. Cruser had a great energy to him, full of life and great ideas. He has been in the coffee business for over 30 years and has coffee friends all over the world. We talked for an hour about coffee, life, his family, and his shop. If he invites you to sit and have a coffee with him, do it, he has lived a really invigorating life surrounding coffee, entrepreneurship, and his devotion to helping others.
This place has a fascinating story – talk about meant to be. About a decade ago, Cruser and his wife were frequently visiting Salt Lake City to take care of her parents. They were living down South at the time and realized that it may be a good idea to move closer. Before going to the airport to fly back home, Cruser took a drive around Salt Lake City and just happened to be driving down E Street when he spotted an art gallery up for sale. He took this as a sign. What used to be the art gallery is now Jack Mormon Coffee. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but there’s no WIFI, sip your coffee and unplug from the stress of your daily life.
“The Fresher the Better” is their motto here and dang is it true! The coffee is roasted fresh every day and they take it very seriously. There are four one-pound Sonofrescos and one 38-pound Sivetz fluid-bed roaster ready to work. They have 60 different roasts of coffee and no blends. They usually roast their beans to a medium/dark roast, which helps extract maximum flavor but they’ll roast it to your preference. I knew I had to try a coffee while I was here so I asked Cruser what he recommended; I told him to surprise me. I ended up having a delicious cup of Arroressa from Ethiopia. This was the perfect way to start my day.
Plan accordingly, there are no public restrooms. Due to the history of the building, they’re unable to add one.