Home » Insight Coffee Roasters to add second location
Brew News

Insight Coffee Roasters to add second location

The crew of Insight, located at 1901 8th Street. The coffee slingers have plans to add a second location near P Street.

Before Insight Coffee Roasters opened its doors at 8th and S streets nearly 17 months ago, there were plans to open other locations. 

So when the Southside roastery announced its plans to extend its caffeinated reach to 16 Powerhouse, a building that has yet to be erected, some were surprised, and others not so much. 

In an announcement on its Facebook page, Insight said the company will be partnering with D&S Development on the 16 Powerhouse project, "a super cool, sustainable, green mixed-use development." 

A rendering of 16 Powerhouse

The coffee shop will be located on the corner of Powerhouse Alley (1601 16th Street), with a large patio, much bicycle parking and an "activated alleyway." The groundbreaking for the building will be held in May or June, and the business could open in mid-2014, said Chris Ryan, a partner at Insight. 

"This location in the heart of downtown has extra special meaning for us, not because of amazing park across the street or cool neighbors (Hot Italian & Orchid Thai!) but because of the history," the announcement read. "Lucky’s father was an integral part of the neighborhood development around Fremont Park many years ago. As a young child, Lucky spent countless hours in the park and surrounding neighborhood so our love of this community is strong. Now twenty plus years later, we couldn’t be more excited to be committed to this great neighborhood and project!"  

Micah Nisito, Sean Hays, Shaun Sutton and Travis Avampato love Insight for the coffee and vibe.
Insight Coffee Roasters opened in December 2011, and prides itself in directly sourcing its beans from countries such as Brazil, Indonesia, El Salvador, and Costa Rica. It takes a minimalistic approach to its menu and interior design, which seems to work well with regulars. All the metal and wood fixtures and furniture were hand-made by Lucky, the head owner. 

Without giving away all the goods, Ryan said the new location will focus on coffee’s educational components. "From the inception we’ve had bigger plans to do more educational programs," he said. "From the farm to the roastery to the cafe, there’s a whole lot of exciting stuff to learn about." 

He attributed the company’s quick growth to its quality product, and its leader, Lucky. "Lucky is extremely talented and as passionate as you can be for quality coffee," Ryan said. "He does a great job of selecting the coffee, and roasting it to the right degree." 

Lucky was unavailable for comment Tuesday, as he has plans to fly out to Nicaragua to build relationships with coffee farmers. However some loyal customers who recently heard the news were happy to chime in on why they prefer Insight over other Sacramanto coffee roasters. 

It’s "straight from the farmer," as Travis Avampato put it, who visits the roastery every morning with his bicycle buddies. Due to its location at 1901 8th Street, it’s a bit out of the way from the rest of the city, "which is cool in a way," he said. 

Besides enjoying the coffee, the atmosphere is chill and the regulars are all super friendly, said Sean Hays. 

Shaun Sutton said he’s not surprised Insight is expanding after only a little over a year in business. "It’s the best coffee in town," he said. "You don’t have to dress it up with sugar and cram, you can drink it straight." 

When it comes to future expansion plans, Ryan said there will definitely be other Insight locations opening up, but there is nothing concrete at the moment. 

"We love our homebase, but there are other people who don’t live near Southside, and would want to see one in their neighborhood," he said. 

Editor’s note: The “News Digest” goes out every Tuesday morning and highlights our best stories, photos and videos from the week prior. Sign me up.

Events & Happpenings


See Full Calendar >>

About the author

Karen Wilkinson

  • Ed Murrieta

    I’m not sure if the alley names have yet caught on. Can you please just give a street address?

  • I believe it is basically on the corner of 16th and O streets.

  • Ed Murrieta

    “Powerhouse Alley runs south of P Street and next to the Fremont Community Garden” That’s according to Sac Press. which tends to run vague on addresses, simply stating that shootings or whatnot happen on P or whatever street, without addresses or cross-street coordinates. Midtown — one tiny little burg we all know.

    • Jared Goyette

      “P or whatever street” is a cross-street my friend. Glad to see you’re back.

  • 1601 16th Street. 16th Street between P Street & “Powerhouse Alley”, directly across from Fremont Park & a 5 second walk from Andrea & Fabrizio’s awesome “Hot Italian”… Insight would be part of a focus to enhance Powerhouse Alley through seating, art, events, & more.

  • Ryan Schauland (f.k.a. ryuns)

    Sacramento boasts of some mighty fine coffee. Happy to see one of the great ones doing so well.

  • Here is hoping they have better/longer hours in the second location..

  • William Burg

    Kudos to Insight for opening up directly across the street from a Starbuck’s! And kudos to D&S for a project that will add another couple dozen housing units to downtown Sacramento’s supply (50 down, 10,000 or so to go!) Any hint as to other retailers planned for 16 Powerhouse?

    • Chris Morfas

      No kidding, William. I’ve been shocked at the abysmal supply of homes for sale in the Central City. But these apartments are a start on meeting demand.

    • Its pretty hard to find affordable homes to buy in the central area. When I was looking it was cheaper to buy a whole apartment complex. I ended up spending way more than I planned but its worth it to own and live in midtown.

    • William Burg

      There are only 2000 for-sale units in the central city–including both single-family homes and condos. There are 18,000 or so rental units. We’re starting to see more infill construction, both for-sale and rental, but it will take a long time before we start to reach parity with pre-redevelopment era population.

    • I like Insight’s product — and I use their raw sugar and organic milk in my cup o’ Joe. But let’s not forget that besides that Starbucks, Naked Lounge is rather close, too, Are we getting just a little too concentrated with our coffee places?

    • William Burg

      Not if there are more people in the neighborhood to be customers–and between this building and the two going up a block north, the neighborhood will have a couple hudred more people living nearby. And since Java City (3 blocks away) closed last year there is room for another quality coffee shop in their place. We’ll see if Starbuck’s can handle the competition!

  • Bruce Fairbanks

    Love Sac Press. Not to be too nitpicky, but there seems to be a typo in this sentence from the story:

    “You don’t have to dress it up with sugar and cram, you can drink it straight.”

    I’m pretty sure that should be “sugar and cream”, yes?

  • Orchid Thai!?

  • I love their coffee but find the current Insight uncomfortable to actually hang out at. Not the vibe – the actual furniture. I hope this new location is cozier.

Support Local


Subscribe to Our
Weekly Newsletter

Stay connected to what's happeninging
in the city
We respect your privacy

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

Stay connected to what's happening in the city

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This