Independent roastery and mobile barista cart company Docent Coffee will open a cafe on Edgewood Avenue in October. It will take over the space currently occupied by cycling-centric Cafe & Velo in what basically amounts to a rebrand and expansion of services and not necessarily a closure, as Eater Atlanta was previously told.
A source close to the situation now tells Eater Atlanta Cafe & Velo and Docent are owned by Jeff Demetriou and Nolan Hall. The roastery for Docent, Top Time Coffee, is independently owned by Hall. It seems all three entities will merge under one roof and be known as Docent Coffee sometime in October and refocus on Atlanta’s local art scene.
“Their concept is really cool. We’ve been using and selling Docent coffee for about six months now, and we think it’s probably the best in the city in terms of local roasters,” a representative for Cafe & Velo tells Eater Atlanta. “They’re also trying to bring back that community aspect of specialty coffee that kind of disappeared from the city in the last couple of years.”
Docent has brewed coffee throughout metro Atlanta via its pop-up mobile cart. It partners with local Atlanta artists like Sarah Emerson and Kyle Brooks (BlackCatTips) to provide packaging designs for its ten coffee roasts.
The plan is to build a permanent roastery in the space along with a small retail shop and cafe. Docent also hopes to secure a “fleet” of mobile barista carts and eventually a “coffee shop trailer”. In an effort to make “local craft coffee and art more approachable, accessible, and inviting,” Docent will continue with their pop-up events and local catering options.
Docent’s menu shouldn’t change much from Cafe & Velo. The cafe will serve breakfast and lunch and include baked goods, toasts, sandwiches, bowls, and vegan options. A selection of coffee drinks and teas will also be available.
“A great tasting coffee is indifferent to the ceremony, pretense, and circumstance with which a lot of people attempt to associate it”, says Docent’s Nolan Hall in a prepared statement. “We put 100% of our expertise and passion for the craft into every batch of coffee we roast and serve, and feel the substantive experience of drinking our coffee will always convey that fact to the customer far better than any type of formality, attitude, or stylistic aesthetic.”
Docent is working on a series of events featuring each of the ten Atlanta artists they work with to design their coffee packaging.
The company kicked off a crowdfunding campaign to help fund their new permanent location in the Old Fourth Ward. Docent wants to raise the additional money needed to open the roastery and cafe following the sudden departure of one of its primary investors.
381 Edgewood Avenue SE. Atlanta. docentcoffee.com.
Update: This story was updated to clarify the rebranding and relationship between the two shops and the roastery.