Food Scene: Grand Junction’s Roasted Espresso & Subs provides community hub
WHAT: Roasted Espresso & Subs
WHEN: Monday through Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
WHERE: 502 Colorado Ave., Grand Junction
Editor’s note: If you’re part of Grand Valley’s burgeoning food scene and want to talk shop, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When Alex Mackey and Greg Indivero joined forces in July 2009, they aimed bigger than simply opening a restaurant. They hoped to create a scene.
The result was Roasted Espresso & Subs, a funky downtown coffee house and eatery (502 Colorado Ave., Grand Junction) with a committed following of Colorado Mesa University students, downtown locals and folks just traveling through. Both Mackey, owner, and Indivero, general manager, studied at CMU before partnering up on a small business.
“We wanted to create a vibe, an atmosphere, and we opened with zero dollars,” Indivero said. “Everything we’ve done was totally grassroots” and “we developed energy and culture with food and drinks.”
Five years later, Roasted bustles with folks qued to order subs, coffee and tea; regulars sip drinks and socialize, sometimes for hours; and tables continually refill, inside and out.
“Our customers are the driving force,” Indivero explained — from sandwich and beverage ideas to Indie music thumping through the loudspeakers … and local art. “We’re a community hub where someone’s guaranteed to know your name and face, not just the drink you order.”
Plus, according to Mackey, Roasted received a lot of community support over the years.
“What’s hard about starting a small business is trying to create a product that people want from scratch; there’s a lot of trial and error.”
“And dumb luck,” Indivero interjected.
“And having a community that will support you and talk about it,” Mackey finished, smiling. “People wanted us to succeed.”
CAFFEINE, COMMUNITY, CULTURE
Roasted currently employs nine locals (including both founders). Indivero hails from Philadelphia, while Mackey transplanted to Grand Junction from Steamboat Springs, Colo.
“Alex already had the coffee going, and I brought in deli-style sandwiches,” Indivero said of their partnership. “He was one of the first people I met with when I moved to Grand Junction.”
Both fellows aim to create an ambiance and restaurant style that’s consistent, energetic and affordable. Quality food is also a must.
“I’ve hand-selected produce twice a week for five years,” Indivero said.
The menu is varied, too. Roasted offers specialty drinks with fun names like Amazing Tea, Monkey Mocha, Rocket Fuel, Wake-n-Shake and The Ben ($2-$6, depending on size), along with more common beverages — drip coffee, latte, mocha and Cuban to name a few ($1.75-$4.75, depending on size). Sandwiches, subs and wraps are also offered ($4-7), including the Horses Love Apples (roast beef, spinach, onion, apples, mustard and horsey sauce), the College D (peanut butter, banana, American, mayo and mustard), the Baller (toasted 100-percent beef meatballs, provolone and marinara sauce), the S.B. Dub breakfast wrap (eggs, spinach, onion, pepper jack and ranch in a tortilla), and the Strut’N Wrap (turkey, spinach, green chili, onion, pepper jack and spicy guac).
According to Indivero, he’s most proud of two menu items — Roasted Chai ($4-$5) and The Larry David whole-wheat sandwich ($7).
“They’re gold mines; people love them,” he said. “Both compliment the taste buds.
“The roasted chai is a blend of exotic spices, cinnamon and black tea, plus two shots of espresso. You make it with milk — iced, frozen or hot.
“And there’s a whole lot going on with The Larry David. Its base is cream cheese, ranch and sriracha; there’s also salami and ham, mixed peppers (banana and jalapenos} with melted Swiss and spinach — nutrients with your heart attack.”
All pricing at Roasted already includes sales tax. The eatery also delivers to downtown Grand Junction businesses.
When asked how their favorite customer would describe Roasted’s food, Indivero replied: “Bomb.com.”
Craving comfort food? Indivero prefers cereal.
“Granola mixed with Honey Nut Cherrios and peanut putter. It’s protein, fiber and grain, plus I use almond milk.”
And if given the opportunity to create Roasted’s own network culinary show, Mackey said it wouldn’t be traditional; rather he’d produce a “dramatic comedy” based on the happenings around Fifth Street and Colorado Avenue.
“The most interesting people I’ve ever met have been right here in the shop. Every day there’s such a variety.”
For more information, visit http://www.facebook.com/roastedespresso.
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