When the Roasting Plant opened almost four years ago, it made the block of Orchard Street between Broome and Grand an unlikely coffee-geek destination, one that would help to make the neighborhood below Delancey attractive for high-end caffeine pushers like Dora (on East Broadway), and the latest iteration of Café Grumpy, which is scheduled to open on Essex Street later this year.
The Lo-Down yesterday published an interesting interview with Mike Caswell, the Roasting Plant’s founder. Among other things, he told the site that the shop’s flagship location was never meant as a moneymaking venture, but instead as a laboratory for testing out their Rube Goldberg-ian Javabot system. Despite that, it has “wildly exceeded” Caswell’s expectations, while a second, larger store in the West Village has also done well.
Which means we can expect to see more Roasting Plants on the horizon: While Caswell didn’t offer much in the way of specifics, he did say the company is “exploring different parts of the city,” with an eye toward Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen. Fortunately, he added that “we’re not interested at all in becoming common,” so Starbucks-like saturation seems unlikely.