Jeff Macpherson began roasting his own coffee a couple years ago and then found a job setting up franchised coffee shops for a group of investors. That got Macpherson interested in restaurant operations.
Ashley Macpherson’s background was in business management, having managed her parent’s food distribution company for a while.
When the opportunity arose for the married couple to start their own coffee business with some partners, the Macphersons jumped at the chance. It was the right time in both of their lives to do it.
“I’m the type of person who if I like something I get really crazy into it,” Jeff Macpherson says. “I can come off sounding pretty coffee-nerdy.”
Have no fear, Jeff.
Customers at the newly opened Bloom Coffee & Tea in Northfield are more likely to admire a guy who just does coffee stuff than to start off by calling him names.
The Linwood couple has one thing in common — they both are trying to bring a better coffee experience to the area.
“We found that people want something more out of their coffee,” Jeff Macpherson says. That means something more than just a caffeine fix.
Jeff Macpherson describes their business as being among the third wave coffee shops. The first wave was Folger’s and Maxwell House. The second wave at places such as Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks were espresso oriented where speed of service is the big thing.
The third wave is more handcrafted, roast your own, or work with a local roaster, and pay a little more attention to the quality — that’s Bloom Coffee & Tea, in a nutshell.
“We are trying to create an awareness where people think of coffee in the same terms they would think of a fine wine or an aged whiskey,” Jeff Macpherson says.
Customers have already expressed an interest in programs where people can set up coffee tastings for themselves and the Macphersons will walk them through it, explaining coffee pairings, coffees from around the world and what makes different coffees unique.
The trend began on the west coast and has spread to places like New York City and is modeled after companies such as Stump Town Coffee Roasters or Blue Bottle.
“A lot of people serve beans that they don’t even know when they were roasted or where in the world they came from,” Jeff Macpherson says.
At Bloom, they know the provenance of all the beans they use, with some beans fair trade or organic.
“Everything is specialty coffee, there is no plain old coffee,” Ashley Macpherson says. “We use a local roaster who selects and creates awesome blends with and for us. We also brew all of our single origins per cup and then we keep our signature blends on all the time so we are able to serve the people in a hurry and are able to cater to the people who really have an interest in single origin and where their coffee came from and why it tastes the way it does.”.
The manual brew menu lists blackboard specials with prices along with the name of the bean, the brewing method and the flavor profile, such as big and bold, pineapple and citrus notes, vibrant, floral or fruity.
The Macphersons have sourced the best ingredients for all of their drinks. Hot chocolate uses Ghirardelli cocoa only, Monin syrups use pure cane sugar instead of corn syrup and their lemon juice is fresh squeezed.
At Bloom Coffee & Tea, quality goes into every drink.
“We won’t put something across the counter that isn’t exactly as it should be,” Ashley Macpherson says. “We really try to be innovative with our drinks. On some drinks we use a vanilla infused sea salt on the top; things like that make a difference in appearance and flavor and the whole experience.”
The Macphersons approach their pastries and sandwiches with the same fervor they have for their drinks.
Muffins, cookies and puff pastry is all baked in-house at Bloom Coffee & Tea.
Grab-n-go lunches are also available and include homemade chicken salad and tuna salad, served in wraps for $6.50 or on croissants for $7. Hummus and pita chips are also made in-house.
Whole coffee beans are available, with the Macpherson’s recommendation to grind it at home per cup, but they will grind if requested. Their focus is always on quality.
At Bloom Coffee & Tea, you can relax in their sun-drenched cafe and doodle on your laptop with their free Wi-Fi or meet up with a bunch of friends for a light lunch and some camaraderie. But mostly, you can savor the cup of coffee that was created just for you.