For this week’s Thirsty Thursday, AY About You sits down with the folks at Retro Roasts.
Retro Roasts is built on a foundation of experienced coffee shop owners and brewers. They’ve gone through several iterations with a coffee shop located inside some of the other businesses run by Emily Young, like Dog Ear Books and The Garage Arcade. For the folks at Retro Roasts, opening as a stand-alone was the culmination of seeing each of the businesses grow on their own and being a part of the developing Russellville downtown.
The approach to business at Retro Roasts has always been about providing what the community is looking for. From opening Dog Ear Books after the town’s only new bookstore closed back in 2017, to seeing a need for a family friendly entertainment venue with the Garage Arcade, Retro Roasts has been caffeinating Russellville for years. With the pandemic drawing to a close, the staff and community at Retro Roasts hope that the coffee shop will be able to be a community space that welcomes everyone and allows people to gather for art, storytelling and great coffee.
Retro Roasts is a full service coffee shop, with roasts that are Fair Trade Organic certified coffee beans from Mexico, Guatemala and Columbia. Customers who come in on the days that staff are roasting are in for a real treat – the mouthwatering smell of exotic roasts wafting through the shop. Retro Roasts uses their coffee beans to make a large selection of custom lattes and drinks, as well as serving classic cafe concoctions. They also offer a selection of hot or iced teas and just introduced handshaken lemonades and fruit smoothies.
Each of Retro Roasts’ custom drink names and all of their coffee beans are named with a little nod to Russellville culture and history, from the Depot Decaf roast, for the city’s railway history, to Atomic City, a white chocolate, honey, and cinnamon latte that references Arkansas Nuclear One.
Retro Roasts offers a small selection of baked goods made by the fine folks at B Street Bakery, just around the corner.
The customer favorite is the previously mentioned Atomic City. The drink is an espresso with white chocolate, honey and some cinnamon. It’s what a hug might taste like, if it were coffee.
Atomic City is popular with staff as well as guests, but you’ll see a lot of the Retro Roasts staff drinking their coffee black throughout the day, or trying some new flavor combinations to see if they’d like to share it with guests.
Retro Roasts just released their handshaken lemonades with fresh fruit and fruit smoothies, with the promise of new drink specials in the coming months. These lemonades and smoothies may end up sticking around as a caffeine-free alternative for customers. The staff at Retro Roasts tries to mix it up with a new drink special each month and hopes to add more to their fan favorites as they try new things.
Retro Roasts is all about Russellville and the surrounding community. Between the coffee shop and sister’s stores –the arcade and the book store – Retro Roasts is able to offer a full range of experiences for the entire family.