Two weeks ago, James and Lina Jacobs opened the doors to their dream, the Magpie Café on Perkins Road, a coffee shop that focuses on organic, fair-trade coffee prepared with care, and locally grown, seasonal food. The menu includes authentic Italian-style espresso, as well as specialty coffees purchased from an artisanal “micro-roaster” supplier in Portland, Ore. Customers can also pick up organic, often vegetarian and vegan lunches made fresh each day with locally-sourced ingredients, from black bean salad to club sandwiches, as well as the shop's signature pastry, the “biscone.”
The husband-and-wife duo came up with the idea early last year, and although neither had experience in running a business like Magpie Café, both were eager to give it a try. Their homework started with a road trip. “We rode through all these cities, like Savannah, Charleston, Portland, Seattle with the aim of bringing that sensibility back to Baton Rouge.,” says James. They sat down with owners of small local neighborhood coffee places, learning as much as they could at each stop along the way. They also enrolled in what Lina calls “an aggressive training program” in Portland on how to prepare gourmet coffee drinks.
Still, the Jacobs say they weren't prepared for the immediate community response. More than a month before doors opened, Magpie Café already had hundreds of “likes” on Facebook, and dozens of potential customers counting down the days until they could walk through the doors. And now that the doors are finally open? “It's exactly what we wanted,” says James. “We wanted to do this business in this building, in our neighborhood.”
Find out what's on their ever-changing menu by following Magpie Cafe on Facebook.
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