It was snowing on November 27, 2019, when a friend of a friend called me up after hearing I was in town. A quiet morning in Salt Lake City as I drove to the meeting spot, The Rose Establishment. Her name was V and she agreed to meet here. It was one of her favorite coffee shops so I was pretty stoked to check it out – I love getting local recommendations.
Meeting a Friend
I was a few minutes late so I quickly threw the van into park and searched all through the van for a jacket: no luck. Embarrassed, I hopped out running in the rain to the front door, trying not to slip on the ice that was forming. I got one step inside the wooden doors when BAMN I was stuck behind two dozen customers. V waved me down and we exchanged hellos. She handed me a menu and I was overwhelmed by how good everything sounded. She told me that all the food is super fresh and the coffee is really good.
I ordered a black coffee and a giant chocolate chip cookie. We talked for about an hour or two about traveling, life, and of course coffee. I’ve realized how enjoyable it is to meet someone for coffee. Compared to meeting at a restaurant where you have to think about how to respond between every bite. There were so many people in this coffee shop, I was surprised we were able to get a table. It wasn’t so loud that we needed to shout, but enough noise that it was honestly comforting to be around so many people after traveling solo for the last few months. After a while, she headed out to knock out some of her daily chores and we went on our way.
It’s always hard to interview a coffee shop when I have someone with me so I always head out to the van and wait for them to leave. Sounds silly, but I never get the same one-on-one response if someone else is with me. I headed back inside where the line had luckily died down a bit. This is when I met Caroline, the barista slinging coffee. Oh, don’t be fooled by the pictures, she slung drinks while we talked and everyone working there hummed along like worker bees, checking to make sure everyone was satisfied.
Caroline was freaking good at making drinks and multitasking. She knew who ordered what, how to make each drink, and answered my questions. I kept backing off because I didn’t want to bother her but she said she didn’t mind at all. She has been working here for the past one-and-a-half years, but she’s been in the coffee industry for over a decade. She did stop me when she saw me taking a pic of my coffee. She told me that they don’t allow photos here. I had never encountered anything like this. I don’t know if she was being nice or supporting my goal of Find That Coffee, but she said she’d be right back. When she showed back up she told me she spoke with the manager and they gave me the okay to photograph and document the shop after checking out the legitimacy of my blog. I kept a straight face, but breathed a huge sigh of relief and smiled in my head; that right there meant a lot to hear.
My coffee tasted very good and I laughed after finding out the roaster was Brandy Wine Coffee Roasters from Wilmington, DE. This was less than an hour away from where I grew up! I planned to check them out when I got back home. I want to say how much I thoroughly enjoyed the mugs. Not only was the pink color a great throwback to the many years as a kid visiting my grandmother, but it was also a great accent to the colors in this cafe. The texture was nice as well, matte on the outside and a smooth glossy feeling on the inside of the mug. An interesting shaped handle I must say, hadn’t seen anything like it.
My cookie was delicious, I somehow managed to eat it all myself. All of their pastries looked good. They were made in-house, along with their full food menu. A few of the things they had were spiced snickerdoodles, cinnamon rolls, sunbutter cookies, and even a cocoa coffin that was super popular with Halloween in a few days. I could’ve eaten the whole case and props to them for keeping the glass on the case so clean. It makes the pastries look much better, nothing worse than fingerprints all over it.
I found out that this was a meatpacking plant turned coffee shop. After hearing this it was almost impossible for me to imagine such a time. Looking around you will see a lot of metal, wood, and industrial style components. The red clay tiles on the floor had to be original, they looked extremely old but beautiful in that way. I was a sucker for the wire-caged light bulbs; they look great hanging around the cafe. Old-style wooden floors and a complimenting white tile wall, this coffee shop is in every hipster’s dream. Dividing the customer’s view from the kitchen stood a wall of shelves that held some of the largest mason jars I’ve ever seen filled with pickled vegetables, fruits, and other ingredients the chef may use.
I asked if they had WIFI and Caroline told me, “Nope we never have.” The Rose Establishment is meant to bring people together, face-to-face, and keep electronics out of your present world while enjoying your time here. And they have been successfully doing so since they opened in 2010. I love this, I don’t see this anti-tech initiative enough. They reassured me that they’ve never had a problem, even in this digital age we live in. A few people have walked out in the past, but you can’t please everyone.
The Rose Establishment bumps to bluegrass/jazz beats pretty regularly. You may even hear some Memphis and indie-rock thrown in the mix. They rotate through different roasters; currently serving up Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters and Brandy Wine Coffee Roasters. One of the coolest tidbits was their rooftop herb garden that supplies the kitchen – so freaking innovative. This place stands tall amongst some of the ones I’ve visited. I found out they even do weddings and special events here, it must be magical. Erica O’Brien did a wonderful job designing her coffee shop. I can’t wait to visit again when it’s warm out so I can take full advantage of the patio and not write my name in the snow.
The bathroom had the same build and industrial feel of their brand. I loved the tile floors and the piping used as handicap rails. Gorgeous rippled glass privacy windows and healthy succulents. Very cute for a bathroom; I’ll rank it a 9/10.