“Live passionately” is painted on one wall of Rebecca and Phil Davidson’s new Kingston Village cafe, Dash Coffee Roasters. It serves as their motto, Rebecca said, in conjunction with the name, “Dash.”
“Dash is this idea that when you die, on your tombstone you get your beginning date and your ending date, but neither of those really matter. It’s the dash in the middle that matters,” Phil said.
The husband-and-wife-duo said their passion is connecting with people and building community, and a coffee shop feels like the perfect venue for that passion — a space where neighbors gather for conversation and sustenance.
“We love coffee, but it’s more that relationships are built around having a coffee,” Rebecca said.
Both have worked at and managed various coffee shops around the Corridor, and they decided the time was right to try their hands at ownership. When they heard about the Rowell building, just across the river from downtown Cedar Rapids, they jumped at the opportunity. Dash Coffee Roasters opened Nov. 17.
“We were excited about the Kingston Village neighborhood and the plans for the area,” Rebecca said.
The building, which in the 1920s was Rowell Hardware Store, has been empty since the Floods of 2008. The restoration work included uncovering original concrete floors and exterior brick. Windows fill the front wall, letting plenty of natural light into the 2,400 square foot space.
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The menu includes drip and pour-over coffee, cold brew, espresso drinks, teas and smoothies. Those looking for a colorful beverage can ask for the unicorn hot chocolate, topped with whipped cream, rainbow sprinkles and gold dust. Specialty lattes include honey and cinnamon, honey and cayenne, maple nut and vanilla bean. Baked goods, syrups and other details are made in-house.
The food menu includes pie and quiche, soup, breakfast and sandwiches at lunch.
They’re not just serving the beans, but roasting them in the back of the building. That allows them to cut down on costs and expand their options; they hope to eventually sell their branded coffee to other restaurants and stores. They are roasting single-origin coffees, which means each variety is sourced from one place, with the exception of their espresso blend, “Pirate Pup Blend,” named after their one-eyed dog.
To hone his roasting skills, Phil bought a home roaster to practice with, read a lot of books and took a three-day, hands-on training in Chicago.
“Then I just dove in,” he said.
They hope to add live events in 2018, including music and coffee educational events, all playing back into their goal of building community.
“The community support has been great so far,” Rebecca said. “Local businesses and inhabitants have all been out. We’ve met so many people.”
WHAT: Dash Coffee Roasters
WHERE: 120 Third Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids
HOURS: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday
DETAILS: Email firstname.lastname@example.org; dashcoffeeroasters.com