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Dessert Oasis Coffee Roasters: The culture of coffee

Lattes showcase the skills of Dessert Oasis baristas. PHOTO/NICOLE SERRA

Looking for a place to have great food and a good time? OU News Bureau reporters have visited some distinctive eateries in Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties to learn more about what these places have to offer. Reporter Nicole Serra visited Dessert Oasis Coffee Roasters in downtown Rochester and spoke with co-owner Nathan Hamood.

Tell me about the history of this place.
We started back in 2009. It started with my dad, Jamal, as a family business that was super small. We were more focused on desserts and live music. We had coffee, but it wasn’t the focus. I started getting really into coffee and got more and more involved in the business, then my sister Stephanie and I took it over. We started roasting our own coffee, which I didn’t have a whole lot of experience with. I just looked up a bunch of videos and asked roasters at other companies for advice. I was pretty young at the time, like 14. We started roasting on a machine that roasted just half a pound at a time, so that’s what I learned on. But then people started really liking the fact that we were roasting in house so we got a commercial roaster and from there we’ve tried to increase our quality as much as possible. We carried other bakeries’ desserts at first, but once we started getting into roasting I thought we could do a lot more with the desserts, as well. My dad had all these recipes that he had come up with when he was younger for different cheesecakes and stuff. So we started playing around with that, my dad actually was doing all the baking then. We were only going through two or three cakes a week. Nowadays, we’re at like 10-15 a day.

Co-owner Nathan Hamood started studying coffee roasting at age 14. PHOTO/NICOLE SERRA

Describe what it offers patrons.
Quality product, quality customer service. And also the live music. We really focus on sit-down business, for sure. A lot of coffee shops aren’t as focused on sitting down. We bring the drinks out to you at the table, so it feels more personalized. It’s somewhere you can hang out.

Why would someone want to come here?
It’s always interesting to hear what portions of the things we focus on attract certain people. For some people it’s the product or the customer service or the vibe of the room. For some people it’s even the desserts. We try to really execute on a few major points, so I think certain people are really drawn to different parts of that. Some people aren’t that into coffee, but they’re like, “Oh I just like the people that work here. They’re always super friendly, and the coffee is good enough.”

What do you do that’s different from other places like this?
Coffee is definitely a big trend right now, but what separates us is kind of the craft aspect of our shop. There are a lot of craft coffee shops, though, so we really try to focus on being relatively approachable as a craft roaster. We try to be pretty education focused as well. Rochester didn’t really have any coffee culture, so we had to kind of ease people into it, so that kind of shaped our approach to our customer service. We try to be welcoming to the person that maybe doesn’t know anything about coffee yet. I mean we were all there at one point. The only reason I learned was because of people who were willing to share and talk about coffee. We really try to focus on feeling like a local coffee shop while still being a craft roaster. We remember people’s names you know, people who come here are friends of ours.

Hamood recommends everyone try pour over coffee at least once. PHOTO/NICOLE SERRA

What’s the one thing everyone should order here?

I’d like to try to get everyone at some point to at least try some of our pour overs. I feel like that’s coffee at its purest. I mean, lattes are awesome and they really demonstrate the skill of our baristas, but pour over coffee is coffee at its most exposed.

How many people work here?
We have about 14 baristas and a few people on our baking team.

What does the future hold for this place?
We want to keep growing. The last couple of years we’ve seen pretty aggressive growth. We’ve been trying to expand and do as many things as possible, but make sure we’re still executing on all the things we started doing first so that we don’t lose any quality. Right now, we’re looking into wholesale and online sales. We’re doing events now, too, like pour over bars for weddings. Opening the Detroit store was a big step that set us more in more retail, and we really want to open more retail locations in the future. We’ll do them one at a time. There’s no plan to do any franchising. It’ll all be very curated. I know the next location will be different, but I don’t want to put the cart ahead of the horse.

Dessert Oasis Coffee Roasters is at 336 S. Main in downtown Rochester and on Facebook. (248) 453-5239.

 

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Posted by on Sep 24 2017. Filed under Eateries. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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