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Something new is brewing in Oakland Park's Culinary District.
SwitchBox Coffee Roasters, a specialty coffee shop that's serious about consciously sourcing its coffee beans, is the area's newest coffeehouse. And with its recent win at the Art of Coffee latte art throwdown held in Fort Lauderdale's Flagler Village, the new local business has already made a name for itself in the South Florida coffee community.
SwitchBox will be celebrating its grand opening Saturday, July 2, with all-day coffee specials, free food (grilled burgers and hot dogs for the Fourth of July holiday), and beer samples from neighboring Funky Buddha Brewery. The shop will be open with extended hours from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in celebration.
At SwitchBox, coffee is roasted on-site. Customers place their orders at either the espresso bar or the slow-brew bar, where they can sit and watch as their cup is freshly brewed.
In addition to the basics, SwitchBox serves weekly coffee cocktail specials (like espresso mojitos, espresso mint juleps and nitro cold brews served in Guinness goblets), loose-leaf teas from a local tea purveyor, and pastries from artisan bakers.
But for owner Brian Protsman, the focus is not on gimmicks; it's on where the coffee comes from.
Offering Ethiopian and Guatemalan varieties to Colombian and Brazilian, SwitchBox brings in coffee beans from around the world that are specially selected to fit the shop's particular taste profile. Protsman hopes new customers are willing to try these coffee blends before adding in any cream or sugar.
"The norm is to put cream and sugar in it, but we keep things on the lighter side, which brings out the natural nuances of the flavors of that particular origin," he said.
Protsman wants customers to take the same interest to his coffee that he did when he first got into roasting. He said he hopes they ask: "Where did that coffee come from? How's it grown? Who's the farmer? What elevation did it grow at?"
The coffee enthusiast got his start in the world of roasting 11 years ago when he began working with a coffee company in Deerfield Beach. He followed the company to Denver, but after five years out west, he and wife Miriam decided it was time to start their own venture.
"We thought it would be great to come back to South Florida and be part of a smaller, growing community," he said.
They chose Oakland Park because they felt the area's growing Culinary Arts District was a fit for a shop with a focus on specialty coffee roasting.
The industrial space, conceptualized by Miriam, is highlighted by a radius bar divided into two for espresso and slow-brew orders. Reclaimed wood used throughout the shop comes from an old shed in North Carolina the couple went up to physically dismantle themselves, and the bar's back wall features old Chicago brick.
With free Wi-Fi and a "hodge podge" of seating areas—including benches, a family table ideal for meetings, and outdoor seating on the patio—the space has been designed for both customers who want to sit alone at the bar while working on their laptop and group gatherings alike.
"We wanted to create a community space where you can come in, hang out and stay," he said.
SwitchBox Coffee Roasters is open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
SwitchBox Coffee Roasters; 3446 NE 12th Ave., Oakland Park
(Images via Facebook/SwitchBox Coffee Roasters)
SwitchBox Coffee Roasters, a specialty coffee shop that's serious about consciously sourcing its coffee beans, is the newest coffeehouse to the area. And with its recent win at the Art of Coffee latte art throwdown held in Fort Lauderdale's Flagler Village, the new local business has already made a name for itself in the South Florida coffee community.