Juan Salcito is a Napa local who, at age 19, is community-building—in a coffee shop. It’s where he works and where I go with friends, the Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company. Locally owned and operated, the Roasting Company has been serving coffee on the corner of Main and First streets for the past 27 years. Walk in, and you feel the presence of low-key friendliness in a Victorian storefront where you can sip a Cappuccino—with or without your beret—watching from the window seat as tourists march by, desperately seeking Starbucks, newly opened across the street. Locals (Juan and myself among them) feel loyalty to “our” Roasting Company, where the air is rife with aroma of coffee beans, roasted a few miles up the road in St. Helena, where a bulletin board announces local happenings, and where the walls display paintings and photographs by Napa artists. There is no pushy merchandising here, just coffee and conversation. Juan tells me he wants to revive a music night in the coffee shop so teens can have a place to congregate and express themselves, and a poetry night so older patrons can do the same. Now that’s exceptional service. 938 Main St., Napa. 707.224.2233.
The 25 Days Project is an online series through the month of December spotlighting some of our favorite local businesses. Read more about the project here, and about our commitment to shopping locally here.