When it comes to coffee shops in Sacramento, there’s no such thing as too many in the eyes of Andy and Edie Baker, co-owners of Chocolate Fish Coffee.
Sacramento is certainly lucky in the sense that Midtown and downtown are home to a range of locally-owned coffee roasters, from Old Soul, to Temple, Insight and Naked Coffee. It’s easy to avoid a chain in favor of local flavor, and Andy – with his wife and business partner Edie – is hoping to add beans to the mix by opening a second location in East Sacramento.
"We’ve always wanted to be in East Sac because it’s our neighborhood and we see a need for good coffee," Andy said.
Set next to Hilltop Tavern, at 4749 Folsom Boulevard, the new Chocolate Fish Coffee location will be more than just another coffee shop, the Bakers say. It will be a visual showcase for the roasting process that will include room for learning. At just under 3,000 feet, the space will have an open layout and groovy decor, Edie said, with a cafe that looks into the roasting facility, a training/workshop room and offices.
For the past nearly five years they’ve been in business, the Bakers have used their East Sac home as administrative offices, have rented out commercial space for roasting and have squeezed baristas in training into the downtown shop.
The move will lift the downtown coffee roasters’ profile, while allowing for more collaboration and focus with everything in one spot, the Bakers say.
"In our world, people know about us, but in our town, they don’t," Edie said of the coffee world.
Some of the specific details about the second location include:
– There will be daily single cup brews
– Pastries will be from Magpie Cafe; pastries at the Q and 3rd location will not change
– Hours are slated to be from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., however Edie said "We’ll see what the neighborhood wants. It’s easier to add than take away."
– The Baker’s goal is to also offer classes and tasting events at the East Sac location
– The opening date isn’t set, but it’s looking like late February
For the Bakers, being part of the coffee culture offers exponential learning opportunity.
"Specialty coffee is still in its infancy, there’s so much to learn," said Edie, who was a nurse prior to getting into the business. "The more we know, the more we can pass on and educate."
They trade directly with growers in Guatemala and Central America, and often are visiting or hosting coffee producers. But the Bakers aren’t the only ones slightly fanatic about coffee. Their baristas even compete in coffee-making championships, and can tell you in detail how espresso shots are pulled.
"Everybody that works here is an absolute coffee nut," Edie said. "We live and breathe it."