by Angie Thompson
It’s been three months since The Commons opened its doors to Greenville. Two months of tacos and burgers, of beer and wine, of the actual best baguettes you’ve ever had. Two months of our third and most collaborative cafe, serving coffee and a kitchen menu unique to the location. We’ve found our rhythm in those two months, feeling the energy of the food hall atmosphere and the camaraderie of not only sharing space with other businesses but also of sharing space with our own team.
The roastery crew took advantage of their one day of not roasting coffee by moving everything from the previous roastery spot over to their new home in The Commons. Everything. Huge bags of green coffee, work tables, bar equipment, and of course, an enormous coffee roaster. In one day, they loaded it all out and then in again, setting up the space and hooking up the equipment so that they wouldn’t skip a beat. By Monday, they were back to roasting.
If you’ve been by our spot in The Commons, you’ve likely noticed the big glass wall to the right of the bar. Its doors lead back to a space that has previously been mysteriously vacant. That once-empty space is now our roastery’s new home. “It was a good day,” says Operations Manager Tara Edens, “I mean, this is a good team. Everyone is just very chill.” Aside from the sweat involved in moving thousands of pounds of heavy equipment, the biggest challenge was hooking up the roaster to the new Vortx, an EcoFilter that reduces smoke from the roasting process up to 80%. Tara will soon be taking the reigns on public cuppings, making time for our neighbors to come taste coffee and see how we run things. New developments like that and the upcoming purchase of an automatic bagger will help the roastery to become a greener, more community-driven and efficient place.
Yesterday morning, kitchen staff and baristas were able to step away from their stations one by one and cup coffees with the roaster crew. It’s a small thing, but the close availability of quality assessment will make for a tighter ship over time. Baristas can better speak about what they’re serving, the kitchen can plan and prepare for menus to compliment upcoming roasts. “I'm excited to have the kitchen more involved in the coffee side of things,” says chef Sydney Taylor. Sous chef Ben Coleman adds “We're fortunate to have a kitchen full of people who love coffee—Sydney's worked hard to make sure that the kitchen and the bar are one. Adding the roastery will bring more opportunity [for collaboration].”
Collaboration. Camaraderie. When you ask any member of The Commons bar staff, kitchen, or roaster crew, that’s the common thread of excitement among them all. Having all of those moving parts under one roof makes for better communication, better teamwork, better coffee. As Ben put it, “this is now the nerve center.” The Commons has quickly become a hub for us, and we hope it’s that for you, too. We’re always working to improve what we do—in service, in quality, in sustainability. The Commons makes it easier for us to do that. And what’s more? It makes it easier for more of us to see more of you.