Owner Christian Kelley stands behind the counter at Café Brosseau, located in Tacoma’s Old Town neighborhood on North 21 Street, doing what he feels he does best, serving delicious coffee to his patrons daily. Café Brosseae, after one month in business, has already proven that it has what it takes to bring in foot traffic. In Tacoma there are no lack of coffee shops, so Kelley knew being different would be essential to success. Kelly’s infectious smile and great listening skills are the first things that make patrons feel at home, as well as the safety of the location, which is snuggled quietly and unassumingly between a home brewing outfit and Source Yoga studio. Kelley knows how important it is to take care of people; his past job helped with this.
Kelley graduated from the University of Washington-Seattle with a degree in administration for the healthcare industry. He traveled an hour to and from work for three years before the daily commute to Seattle became too much. Then he worked in Tacoma for two years, and when the recession was hitting hard, he was laid off. Almost two years after being laid off, with very few new job opportunities in his field, he realized he had to be a little more creative about finding work. Kelley gave being an entrepreneur a try and quickly saw it was a great decision. On January 20, 2013, the doors of possibility opened for Kelley.
“I’ve been to coffee shops and I know what I like; I wanted to do that here at Brosseau twins,” said Kelly.
Along with great coffee, the name of the café is enriched with Tacoma history
The cafe is named for the Brosseau twins. They were French-Canadian and lived in Tacoma at the turn of the 20th Century. In 1907 they built a grocery store and home at North 21st and Anderson. The original grocery building remains and now houses our cafe and Mash, a home-brewing supply store.
“We named it to honor the history of the building, the area, and because we like how the name sounds! To pronounce it just think ‘Brew-So.’ Appropriate for a coffee shop, n’est-ce pas?” said Kelley.
Kelley believes that his shop should have high standards, not just a catchy historical name:
“I want to give customers a welcoming, local, consistent and quality experience,” said Kelley.
Kelley strives to offer up locally sourced Madrona coffee, Corina pastries, Mad Hat tea and Europa bistro eats like paninis and pasta. Kelley makes sure he has a wide range of choices for his patrons. He serves up gluten-free offerings and alternative milk choices, such as almond, hemp, soy and rice, which give his cafe a positively current tone.
Although this may seem like any other new coffee place, for Kelley, the coffee shop experience is more than just great products; it is very personal.
“I want to give patrons the same care that I would expect myself, taking time when I can to see how they’re doing and get important feedback. It’s important that my patrons know that I am open to suggestions, that is what community is all about,” said Kelley.
Aside from his very personal customer care, he puts in almost 90 hours a week currently, and his commitment to local products was always on his mind in the family venture. So Kelley took time to scout out his location. His children go to elementary school right down the street, so he knew about the traffic going up and down I Street into 21st St.
“It’s all about setting up shop in the right spot. It really comes down to the old saying, Location, Location, Location. And from what we can see, we’re in the perfect location for the best possible success. It’s all about serving our community with the best product and experience we can offer.”
Each day the shop is open Kelly strives relentlessly to find new ways to tweak his growing business and is starting to find a comfortable groove with his new vocation. Nothing is guaranteed in the world of business, but from all looks of it, he will not be looking to get back into health care anytime soon.
To learn more about the new hot Café in Tacoma check their Facebook site at: www.facebook.com/CafeBrosseau.