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Savannah Coffee Roasters opening southside cafe

  • CEO/President of Savannah Coffee Roasters, Lori Collins. The company will be opening a second cafe location at 714 Mall Blvd., next week. (Photo by Katie Nussbaum/Savannah Morning News)

Savannah’s southside will be getting a caffeine boost next week when Savannah Coffee Roasters opens the doors to their newest Savannah Coffee café at 714 Mall Blvd., inside The Design Center shops on Monday.

Lori Collins, CEO and President of Savannah Coffee Roasters, said that she had been approached by developers, residents and customers alike who all wanted to see the company expand. When a storefront became available last fall the expansion became a reality.

“I really like that space… It’s just got a really great feel and I wanted to be in that space,” Collins said of the shopping mall.

“… We’ve put in the elements that make it us.”

At 450 square-feet, the new location is considerably smaller than the flagship location on Liberty Street, but Collins said for the company it marks a return to where it all started.

“Savannah Coffee Roasters was in Oglethorpe Mall for 21 years and sadly they got pushed out because Starbucks went in and they didn’t want to compete with another coffee shop, but ultimately it worked out for the best,” Collins said.

The new location will serve all of the homemade pastries, sandwiches, soups and salads as the Liberty Street location and Collins hopes to fill a fresh-food void in the area, which is home to a lot of fast-food businesses.

“We make everything fresh. We don’t do any fried foods or preservatives… We make our own stocks for our soups, we like to control salt and I taste everything that’s made here,” she said of the menu, which includes turkey burgers, pot pie, French croissants and assorted muffins.

“…We want our customer to come in and have an experience. Coffee is about taking a breather in this crazy world and it’s about getting off the world a little bit,” she said.

Collins also hopes to serve up some laughs at the new location through a partnership with Savannah improv group, Odd Lot, which has been leasing space at the downtown location. In the coming months Collins hopes to host Odd Lot productions and outdoor dinner theater at the new location.

“It’s a huge parking lot and after 5 o’clock there’s nothing out there, so we’ll have our murder mystery dinner. We’re looking to have that in the spring,” she said.

Collins, who first purchased the company in 2011, and has tripled the income from roasting and in the last four years they began exporting their coffee to Canada, London, Taiwan and Milan.

“We’ve done that organically. We haven’t tried to go and find business, the business has come to us,” Collins said of the growth.

While she hopes to continue to expand the company’s exports she’s also planning for more locations in the future, but wants to make sure things are done right.

“We remain flexible in what we’re doing and we listen to everything that comes past us,” she said.

The southside location will boost the company’s staff by about six new members and will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., but Collins said they’ll adjust their hours depending on demand.

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