[B]efore the roastery was remodeled, a customer walking into DOMA Coffee Roasting Company would find herself opening the door right into a training and wholesale space. There was no entry, no antechamber to transition or direct a customer. She would open the door and join a café training session, and then likely mumble an apology if a staff member didn’t welcome her fast. DOMA’s a company that values sustainability, so often the lights would be out. “And that just made all of this super awkward,” says Rebecca Hurlen Patano, who owns DOMA with her husband, Terry Patano.
In 2013 they bought the building and overhauled their production space, which let them transform their confused entrance into an elegant room that still pulls double duty. Up front, they created a (1) retail venue and a small café that offers (2) pour-overs, batch brew, and a limited espresso drink menu. (3) The bar is one of the simplest around because the (4) espresso machine is on the training side of the room. They can work with this odd setup because the roastery is in an industrial park (in a very small town called Post Falls, which is near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho) and traffic is low.
While the wood slats create a separation between the two sides, they don’t close one off from the other. The L-shaped counter looks standard, yet it’s hyper-customized. Among its coolest features is the ability to quickly swap out espresso machines. At multiple points on the counter there are covers that reveal quick
release valves to water lines to water supplies and drains. This allows wholesale clients to train on the equipment they bought for their café. The same goes for the batch brewers.
DOMA letterpresses gorgeous kraft bags (6) in house, and their design sensibility runs throughout the space. “I wanted it to be a real tactile experience,” Hurlen Patano says. She made the back-wall-as-art piece, crafted most of the light fixtures (7), built the tasting table (8), and fashioned the leather-covered countertops (9) out front where they lay out coffee beans and tea.
For a long time, tucked in the Idaho panhandle, DOMA has roasted incredible coffees and created a sophisticated brand. Now they’ve built a welcome room for one of coffee’s most unlikely destinations.
—Cory Eldridge is Fresh Cup’s editor. Photos courtesy Doma Coffee Roasting Co.