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First Look: Roosevelt Coffee House at Gravity

Lauren Sega Lauren Sega First Look: Roosevelt Coffee House at GravityPhotos by Lauren Sega.
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Roosevelt Coffee House at Gravity is now open. With now double the locations, Founder Kenny Sipes says they’ll hopefully have twice the impact. 

“If we can give $111,000 in four years in one shop, then hopefully we can give another $111,000 in another shop, and another $111,000, and it’ll hit half a million in 10 years,” Sipes says.

In the four years since Roosevelt was founded, the social enterprise has given to international organizations tackling issues like clean water, hunger, and human trafficking. Sipes says that giving will remain consistent, but with the new shop, he’s hoping to give his staff the autonomy to fund unique, local projects that are important to them.

“Like, ‘Hey, Franklin Park is working on this project, we’re going to work with that.’ Or [the] Long Street [location] says, you know, ‘Faith Mission wants to provide as many meals as we can during Easter as we can, so let’s do that’ — just some autonomy in giving for the stores.”

Roosevelt’s history and mission is depicted in a mural by Studio Freight on the back wall: there are hands breaking chains to represent human trafficking, roman numerals illustrating the year this second location was established, a pineapple and a watermelon to bring in tasting notes of Roosevelt coffees, a peace sign coming out of a black hole (also representing the “second” location), an “R,” “C,” and an “H” for Roosevelt Coffee House, and a pair of glasses in the top right corner — “I think the glasses were an homage to me,” says a bespectacled Sipes.

The rest of the space embraces minimalism. Sipes says they were able to better make their mark with a space designed specifically for them. They’ve got a personalized merchandise shelf, inset coffee grinders to improve visibility, and a custom display case for their baked goods.

At 1,800 square feet, Roosevelt at Gravity is about the same size as the Long Street location. A large meeting room table seats 10 in the middle of the room, with an additional 22 seats at tables throughout. The bar, a much larger version of the one at the Long Street shop, provides 12 seats. 

Roosevelt’s Gravity location is soft open right now, with a grand opening set for June 1. Attendees have a chance at snagging some giveaways from Chipotle and Condado, along with some Roosevelt swag and posters.

For more information, visit rooseveltcoffee.org.

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