West Seattle Café - Olympia Coffee & Artisans Group

West Seattle Café - Olympia Coffee & Artisans Group

Olympia Coffee Roasting West Seattle Artisans Group
Photo: Olympia Coffee Roasting Company

What’s new at 3840 California Ave SW, West Seattle? Olympia Coffee Roasting Company’s newest café!

Artisans Group’s Newest Commercial Project:  Olympia Coffee Roasting Company - West Seattle

Artisans Group is excited to share the news of the completion of our latest commercial project.  

The much-anticipated new location of Olympia Coffee in West Seattle opened its doors early this month.  This is the first retail storefront for the company in Seattle, and the third partnership with Artisans Group Designer, Roussa Cassel.

If you aren’t yet familiar with this amazing Pacific Northwest company, Olympia Coffee Roasting Company ‘is a small, quality-focused coffee roaster’ that sources, roasts, and brews delicious coffees.  They focus on the details - and the outcome is amazing.    

When Roussa began her partnership with Artisans Group in late 2014 she was already busy working on the Headquarters of Olympia Coffee in downtown Olympia with Pete Chramiec of Bicycle Homebuilding.  

Roussa's work with Olympia Coffee has proven to be a winning combination with gorgeous results - beautifully crafted, sustainable commercial spaces.

Thriving West Seattle Neighborhood Meets Olympia Coffee

The newest site for Olympia Coffee is located at street level in Rally, the lively multi-use community, which offers its residents ‘a combination of ground floor storefronts with upper-level residences, and townhomes.’

Rally is situated in a burgeoning area of West Seattle along California Ave between the distinctive areas of North Admiral, and Junction.  While working on this project, Roussa was fortunate to have time to do some exploring around the neighborhood.  As she explains, ‘I love West Seattle.  I got to spend a lot of time hanging on the strip and checking out places like Easy Street Records.  It was great’.

For anyone unfamiliar with this ever-expanding neighborhood in Seattle, much can be said about West Seattle.  It is unique in that it is cut off geographically from the rest of the city, and offers its residents the opportunity to live close to a major metropolitan area while being removed enough to experience a more the more laidback lifestyle of a small town.  

Affectionately referred to by locals as, ‘the Peninsula’, West Seattle has a vibe all of its own.  

Most residents would tell you that when it comes to living in this neighborhood, ‘everything you need is right here.’  And if you take a look around, this appears to be true.  West Seattle has no shortage of places to eat, drink, shop and hang out.

Seattle - West Seattle
Office of the Seattle City Clerk [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Like many of Seattle’s neighborhoods, this once blue-collar bedroom community has seen its fair share of change in recent years.  The regional population boom along with mixed use and multi-family developments have had an impact on the makeup of West Seattle’s landscape.  What was once a forgotten nook of the bigger city is now Pacific Northwest chic and at the pinnacle of urban style.  

Today West Seattle continues to attract both young professionals and new families that recognize the perks of living in this great neighborhood.   All around the neighborhood you have access to breathtaking views and beaches.  It’s no wonder the demand for real estate and new developments is continually on the rise.

Independent businesses like bakeries, record stores, vintage shops, and cafes thrive in West Seattle’s commercial and business districts.  Not only are the streets walkable and the schools excellent, but there is an abundance of great parks and outdoor spaces to take advantage of as well.

In a flourishing atmosphere like this, Olympia Coffee will have no problem fitting in and appears to be quickly amassing a tribe of regulars due to their delicious coffee, and the warm and inviting atmosphere of this boutique café.

An Intentional Boutique Café in the Heart of it All

West Seattle Olympia Coffee Artisans Group
Photo: Olympia Coffee Roasting Company

When word got out that Olympia Coffee Roasting Company was planning on opening its first storefront North of Thurston County, as Roussa explains, ‘a lot of people assumed that they were going to go big, but that was never the owner’s intent.  Sam and Oliver wanted to expand but also wanted to do it in a conscientious and regional way.  They liked the idea of being a boutique café in a neighborhood, and one of the owners, Sam, grew up here, so for him, it was a sort of homecoming’.

Before joining the team at Artisans Group, Roussa was working as a freelance designer and getting her feet wet in the world of commercial design.  She already had an established relationship with the owners of Olympia Coffee through her connection to the Coffee Industry.  As Roussa tells me, ‘they took a chance on me right out of grad school.’  The location on Capitol Blvd in Olympia was her first commercial project, and the first retail space Oliver and Sam opened as the new owners of Olympia Coffee Roasting Company.

A Vision for a Sustainable Brand and Identity

Roussa explains a little more about the owner’s vision for the brand.  ‘The downtown Olympia headquarters serves as a model for their brand.  At HQ you get to see and experience what Olympia Coffee is all about.   They are a great company.  And they are fun to collaborate with because they handle everything right and get excited about good design.  Also, sustainability is a huge part of the Olympia Coffee brand.’  

For us at Artisans Group, a commitment to sustainable design and practices makes this a great partnership.

Sam and Oliver care about their neighborhoods.  They want to be intentional with the design to be respectful of the attributes of the surrounding area.  Every café location has a different feel but must be relevant to the neighborhood.

Artisans Group & Windfall Lumber Create Warm and Inviting Spaces

Seattle - Olympia Coffee - Artisans Group

At Olympia Coffee's two retail locations in Olympia, the abundant use of wood adds warmth to the spaces and has been integral to the overall design aesthetic.   Artisans Group teamed up on the West Seattle storefront with fellow South Sound company Windfall Lumber to continue with this theme.   

Windfall Lumber has been crafting with beautiful and sustainably sourced timber and lumber in the South Sound region for the last 20 years, and their work can be seen throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond.  Their commitment to using sustainable materials is in sync with Artisans Group’s philosophy of crafting beautiful, customized, sustainable, elegant spaces.

We’ve been fortunate to work with them on many projects over the years, both residential and commercial.

West Seattle -  A Boutique Café - Neighborhood Values and Aesthetics

When we asked Roussa how she would best describe Olympia Coffee Roasting Company's new café, she tells us that ‘it is a reflection of how Sam and Oliver view their brand and their coffee. Every detail is considered from the sourcing to roasting.’  The café is a space to show that same care for quality, from the natural wood clad walls to the custom tables, point of sale and lighting - the underlying theme is that details matter.

Roussa goes on to elaborate on the overall look and feel they wanted to achieve with the new café, ‘they knew we wanted it to be sophisticated and refined.  Seattle has seen so much growth lately, and as such has been becoming more upscale, so we wanted this space to reflect that.  And because it is such a small space, there was an opportunity to focus on all the details.  In small spaces, people are closer up to the materials, so you want the detailing and craftsmanship to hold up to that level.  From the standpoint of the designer, that’s something that is important.’

When asked to speak to what stands out to her in the café Roussa tells us, ‘I think the real statement piece of the space is the beautifully crafted, large, custom light fixture we got from a Vancouver based artist. It ties in well with the rest of the design in the space in that it is very nice but very restrained.’

The café has a light and airy, open feel.  No small feat to pull off in a 500 square foot space.  The soft tones of the maple wood bring warmth while creating a subdued and elegant vibe that is also playful and chic.  The main coffee bar and marble table tops and counter feature brass inlays that give customers even more eye candy to devour along with their fresh coffee and pastries.

All of the wood surfaces throughout the space from the stools, to countertops, are maple, including the wood panels on the walls and ceilings that are whitewashed with a “bone” stain.  

The beautiful work of Windfall Lumber brings even more dimension to the space, through the use of diagonal and horizontal wall cladding that meet to create even more visual interest.  As Roussa explains, ‘because customers will be up close enough to interact with the material, we wanted to be conscious of the choices we made.’

What’s Next for Artisans Group and Olympia Coffee?

We eagerly anticipate the next big venture for Olympia Coffee Roasting Company and the team at Artisans Group has been hard at work to bring the next location to life.  

The company’s fourth location will be located in Tacoma’s historic Proctor neighborhood.

As Roussa describes it, ‘Each of the four locations has its own unique style, and for Proctor, we are trying to fit into a historic neighborhood.  We want to be respectful of the that, and choose materials that best reflect this heritage.’

  Stay tuned for more updates on Artisans Group’s exciting new commercial projects coming up in 2018!

Artisans Group

Posted on February 27, 2018


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