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R1 Changes The Coffee Culture In Boca Raton With Specialty Roasts And Local Partnerships

Coffee culture is alive and well in South Florida, but Boca Raton has been consistently left out in the cold (brew). The Seed opened in early 2015 as Boca’s first specialty coffee shop and juice bar.

For over two years, it was the only specialty roasters spot south of Delray—the home of fan favorite Subculture—and north of Fort Lauderdale. But that’s changed thanks to R1 Coffee Company.

R1 is Boca Raton’s first, and only, mini-chain of coffeehouses. Opened last June on East Palmetto Park Road, the open-concept space is white and bright, with floor-to-ceiling windows, concrete floors and bleached wood tables. A long, marble counter is home to a Slayer espresso machine and ACME mugs.

"We just wanted to bring the coffee culture to a place where there is nothing like this,” Slava Golik, co-owner of R1 says over Stumptown Roasters cold brew drinks and honey cake.

Slava and his wife, Anna, love The Seed, but live west, so “every morning, it took 30 minutes just to have a cup of coffee.” For the Goliks, a visit to one of Boca’s 14 Starbucks locations just wasn’t sufficient. 

“It’s very interesting to transform Starbucks customers into specialty coffee customers,” Slava says. “Everybody now cares about organic, gluten-free, etc., but nobody cares about what coffee they drink, so it’s just the next, higher-up step in consumption.” 

The Goliks moved from Russia to Boca in 2014, and their passion for coffee led them to open not one, but three, R1 locations last year.

After spending a year learning about coffee, traveling and sipping across the world, they concluded that the best coffee is found right here, in the United States. 

They then decided to bring the finest roasters to Boca. That means serving Verve, Intelligentsia and Stumptown brands at R1. The business component of opening and maintaining a coffee chain also appealed to Slava, former principal director of tax litigation at KPMG. 

“I always was interested in doing something big, and coffee is the second most traded commodity on the market, after oil,” Slava says. 

The goal of R1 is to give customers the chance to sample and decide what type of coffee they like best. Each shop sells a different coffee roast and offers a full menu that varies by location. 

In addition to Stumptown brews, guests will find matcha pancakes at the East Palmetto spot. Find Verve Coffee Roasters and dark chocolate rye cookies at the Federal and NE 32nd Street location and Intelligentsia at the Military Trail shop.

R1's best sellers include lattes and cappuccinos, as well as all of its matcha products. Though most menu curation is done in-house, R1 is open to local partnerships. 

Guests can find bread from Miami bakery and deli Zak The Baker on the menus and R1 is always on the lookout for other small businesses that could be a great fit. 

The third R1 location opened in December 2017, and another shop is already on the table. With luck, Slava says, Boca will see one or two more R1 shops in 2018. 

3200 N. Federal Highway, Ste. 106, Boca Raton; 561.430.5896; r1coffee.com

10 E. Palmetto Park Road, Ste. 102, Boca Raton; 561.430.5896; r1coffee.com

17940 S. Military Trail, Ste. 600, Boca Raton; 561.717.4884; r1coffee.com

Photos by Alexa Koch

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