What should stand out in a coffee drink? The coffee, believes Dillon Farrell, whose mobile concept Social Coffee opened a long-awaited permanent location in downtown Baton Rouge last week.
It sounds simple enough, but Farrell is all about serving small batch coffee sourced from boutique roasters in specialty drinks that dial back syrups and sweeteners. The point is to let the coffee speak for itself, he says.
“We really want everything to serve the coffee,” says Farrell, who worked as a barista at Magpie Cafe before starting his own coffee concept. “We don’t want to overpower it. We believe that the product we’re serving is fantastic.”
Launched first as a mobile cart in 2019, Social Coffee grew its fanbase with a small menu of espresso-based drinks made with coffee from Onyx Coffee Lab, an Arkansas-based roaster that ships beans to specialty coffee shops around the country. The company is known for sourcing single origin coffee from South and Central America and East Africa, and for developing sustainable business practices that include green technology.
When he first got started, Farrell built a following through local events and the Mid City Makers Market. Then he took things a step further by setting up a coffee counter inside the popular pan-Asian eatery Chow Yum Phat. Last year, Farrell got serious about the idea of opening a permanent location for Social Coffee, which has always been about building community, he says.
The opportunity to rent a former restaurant on North Street emerged several months ago, and since then, Farrell has been working to transform the space into something hip and welcoming. Supply chain delays and rising construction costs slowed the project, but Social Coffee finally opened in its new digs on March 16.
Read the full story about Social Coffee from 225 magazine. Subscribe to the free 225 Daily e-newsletter to keep up with Baton Rouge food and events.
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