TAP-ing into the Community
Ryan Loughrey, Contributing Writer
TAP Coffee, located at 567 Fair Oaks Avenue, officially opened its doors on Monday, January 11th, and is a shared space for the workers of TAP – The Artisan Project as well as those who have come to the for the coffee and ambience.
The Artisan Project is a local business aimed at helping local artisans, whether they’re musicians, painters, chefs, educators, or “anyone that brings an artisanal quality to their craft” become more well known in the world. To help local culinary businesses, TAP Coffee was created.
“We like the idea of communities communing” says Erica Franklin of TAP, when asked about the lack of wi-fi in the new location. This coffeeshop isn’t meant to be a place where people plug in and tune out, rather it is meant to be a facilitator of discussions and proponent of local artists.
Simon Weibel, 29, manages the new coffee shop, which is connected with several business in the Rogue Valley. “The idea is to keep it as local as possible,” he said, behind him mounted on the wall was a coffee bag that proudly had Case’s name on it. TAP uses only Case coffee beans, and Weibel said this was the first time that Case had an order large enough that their distributor put their name on the sack. Weibel mentioned that all the other food came from local sources too. Their menu include’s macaroons, biscuits, and cookies from Shane’s Sweet Tooth Bakery and croissants from Luna Bakery. Weibel and his staff were trained by the owners of Case Coffee, and he says that they are trying to serve coffee “with the Case Coffee vision in mind.”
TAP Coffee is located off of Mountain St., farther away from the main streets of Ashland, and the reason for this relates to the local vibe that the shop is intending to promote. “I want people to come away from the hubbub of college or downtown” Weibel mentioned. He elaborated that it is aimed less for the tourists and more for the commuters and workers of Ashland.
As of right now, Weibel has hired four Ashland High Schoolers, the high school he once attended, with the intent of training the next generation of baristas. The leader of these caffeine padawans is addressed as “John Coffee.”
Presently, TAP Coffee is only open from 7am to 3pm Mondays through Fridays. Weibel hopes to extend the hours as well as keep it open on the weekend, but that will be sometime in the future. Weibel is optimistic, and acknowledges the vibe of Ashland that helps TAP to be successful. “Ashland is a community that supports small business,” he finished “and this is definitely a local spot.”