A new specialty goods store and coffee roasting facility/bar fits right into a new 1,200-square-foot, renovated vacant retail space at 1320 E. Houston St.
Open for just three days now, Estate Coffee Company and Oak & Salt — two businesses co-operating in the space — already feel at home.
"People are excited about the collaborative space," Ben Annotti, owner of Oak & Salt, said Wednesday morning.
Here's how it works: Estate Coffee Company is set up on one side of the space, where owner Brian Labarbera and roaster and barista Alex Dyck roast raw coffee beans from Guatemala, Brazil, Kenya, Papua New Guinea and Ethiopia.
"We wanted a transparent space following the brewery concept," Labarbera explained. That way coffee lovers can sip on their favorite drink while watching the process behind that lovely cup of joe from start to finish.
On the other side of the space, which is soaked in natural light from wall-sized windows that face Houston Street, is Oak & Salt, a specialty goods store operated by Annotti, a classically trained chef from Chicago who moved to the Alamo City about four years ago.
"Shops like this exist in Chicago, and in other big cities, and I think San Antonio is ready," he said. "The food scene is growing."
Oak & Salt offers small batch food and drink provisions, along with unique salts, cocktail mixers, olive oils and other items sure to make the foodie and chef anxious to explore new dishes.
However, both Annotti, Labarbera and Dyck hope to attract customers from all walks of life, not just people steeped in coffee and foodie culture.
"We don't want it to be a gated community," Dyck said.
The shops are open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oak & Salt also operates online
, this is its first physical location. Estate Coffee Company also has an online option
to purchase its coffee blends.