I know what you’re thinking. ANOTHER coffee shop in Fremont? But seriously, hear me out on this one. You’re going to want to hear what Milstead & Company will be up to when they open in Fremont this May at 770 N 34th Street.
Milstead has made a name for himself as a barista here in Seattle and Minnesota where he placed highly in and won various latte art competitions. His passion for coffee has led him to starting his own shop and I spoke with him about his new venture.
FremU: Can you tell us about the new coffee shop you’re opening in Fremont?
Andrew: The coffee shop is located on N 34th street next to Fremont’s awesome History House. It is a fairly simple space with lovely high ceilings, great natural light, plenty of room to hang out in, and some of the worlds most amazing coffees. The shop is the result of a lot of dreaming and about 8 years of working hard to learn about one of my greatest passions…….coffee. I see it as a playground for the coffee enthusiast and neophyte alike. A place for a quick espresso, or to hang out for hours with friends. My hope is that it can become a “living room” of Fremont……one with the best coffee you’ve ever had :).
FremU: What made you choose Fremont to open your shop? What is it about Fremont that makes it the right place for you?
Andrew: All things considered, I am fairly new to the Seattle area. I have lived here for about 2 and half years. The first two of those years I spent living in Kirkland managing a wonderful cafe called the Urban Coffee Lounge. I spent my college years (and then some) in Minneapolis and St. Paul. While I was living there I visited Seattle often, as my older Sister and her husband have lived here for several years. It didn’t take more then one visit for me to fall in love with Seattle and all of its wonderful and unique neighborhoods.
Being a tourist of Seattle, Fremont was always one of the main destinations. So much character and beauty in this little neighborhood. I still remember my first trip out, seeing the Troll, strolling through the Sunday market, perusing records, checking out the neighborhoods past at the History House, and of course eating chocolate. Fremont visits were always a big highlight of my trips. When I finally made the move into Seattle 2 and a half years ago I lived in Kirkland to be close to the cafe that I managed. Nearly every weekend found me in Fremont, Ballard, Greenlake, or Queen Anne. Something about being close to the water and so many awesome shops just makes me feel alive and lucky to live in the city.
I finally made the move over to the Fremont area (technically I am in Queen Anne, about 4 blocks off of Nickerson), and have enjoyed every day that I’ve been here. Most Barista’s out there probably have tons of really great ideas, dreams, and thoughts about what their own cafe would like if it ever came to be. One of my biggest hopes was that it would be in a neighborhood that is alive with people, thriving small business, and a sort of comfort that just makes people jealous of those that get to live there. Moving into the realm of small business ownership it was also incredibly important to me that I live close to the shop and be able to really thrive and enjoy myself in the neighborhood as well. Seeing as this part of Seattle has always brought me happiness it made perfect sense that I would end up in Fremont. I love that Fremont has so much foot traffic, so many people walking around taking in the sites, checking out the shops. I love the idea of being able to offer a place for people to enjoy as they explore Fremont. Coffee is such a huge passion of mine it also greatly excites me to be able to bring something to a neighborhood that I enjoy so much. I am super excited to offer some of the greatest coffees available to one of the greatest neighborhoods around!
FremU: There’s obviously a lot of coffee shops in Seattle and in the area, what’s going to make your different?
Andrew: There are indeed a fair few Coffee Shops in Seattle This is one of the many things that makes Seattle such an awesome and influential place. There are a few things that set Milstead & Company apart. Perhaps the most obvious difference is our deviation from the traditional single roaster coffee shop model. Most coffee shops source coffee from one roaster, or at times roast their own coffee. A primary goal of Milstead & Company is to not only offer the best coffees that are available but also to educate our customers as much as possible about these amazing coffees. The simple fact is that no single coffee roaster has access to every phenomenal coffee out there. I firmly believe that a huge component of education is exposure and experience. Because of this, we will be featuring coffees from several of the most respected and hard working roasters in the nation. The likes of Stumptown, Intelligentsia, and Coava will be on our shelves as well as coffee from other fantastic roasters. The focus of the shop is emphatically set on giving our customers a coffee experience that is eye opening, enjoyable, and educational.
What this also means is that there will not be a plethora of sugary syrups and extra large sizes available. We are not only interested in showcasing the best coffees available but also in the health of our customers. For the enjoyment of the coffees themselves, and for the health and longevity of our customers, simple and traditional beverages are our main focus. All of our coffee will be brewed to order. The best way to showcase a coffee is to brew it on the spot. Coffee will not be brewed in bulk to sit and stale in coffee urns. We truly desire to give our customers the best coffee experience possible and this necessitates brewing fresh coffee for each person as they order. A few manual brew methods will be available, tho a brew bar of Hario V60 pour overs will be our primary method of brewing coffee. With this method of brewing, a clean, crisp cup of coffee is ready for consumption in about 2 and a half to 3 minutes.
We are also employing some of the days most technologically advanced equipment. La Marzocco Strada’s for espresso machines are just one of the many amazing advances that we will have to aid us in our goal to serve the best espresso possible. La Marzocco is nestled off Ballard Way just a few miles from Milstead & Company. Their new Strada espresso machine offers the most hands on control of the espresso brewing process that is available.
As most people know, brewed coffee is 98% water, meaning that the quality of water used in brewing can be just as important as the quality of the coffee being used. We will be working with some amazing new water filtration technology to ensure the highest quality water for both our brewed coffee and espresso offerings.
In short, Milstead & Company is enthralled with the nuance of coffee and is excited to share this with the public in an empathic educational manner. It has been my dream to be able make “nerding out” about coffee a full time job. I love coffee, I love people, and I am super super excited to be able to have an outlet to engage both of those loves on a daily basis.
FremU: Any special plans for opening day? Special deals that Fremont residents can look forward to?
Andrew: With the opening day still a bit tentative, my plans for the opening day have seen many permutations. For now the neighborhood can certainly expect there to be an opening party with some of the finest coffees available on the house, and then some significant discounts for those living in the neighborhood for the first week or so of our being open.