Hot coffee, cozy atmosphere in downtown Glencoe
Glencoe Roast Coffee offers a warm, homey environment that includes a fireplace. | Jackie Pilossoph~forSun-Times Media
Glencoe Roast Coffee
700 Vernon Ave.
Updated: March 8, 2013 6:16AM
GLENCOE — Yolanda Kowalski had a long career in finance, but three and a half years ago she decided to go from bonds to beans.
She opened Glencoe Roast Coffee in downtown Glencoe.
“This was always a dream of mine,” said Kowalski, who has lived in Highland Park with her family for 19 years. “Good coffee is so important to people, and I wanted to serve good coffee in a nice ambiance.”
Glencoe Roast Coffee, with its warm, homey décor that includes couches and a fireplace serves Espresso drinks, Lattes, different kinds of brewed coffees, organic loose leaf teas, Chai tea, Hot Chocolate, Caramel Apple Cider, Coffee and Tea Frappe, and fruit smoothies.
There’s also a food menu with pastries, including their famous cheese flake, bagels, oatmeal, yogurt, and seven gourmet sandwiches which they cater in from Three Tarts Bakery in Northfield.
Kevin Kowalski is Kowalski’s son and partner in the business. He said the key to great coffee is the brand of the beans they use: Intelligentsia, a U.S. based company that prides itself on working alongside its growers, as well as training the people who are serving their coffee.
“Our staff was trained by the Intelligentsia staff, and we’ve honed our skills, with everything from checking the fineness of the grind and the temperature of the machine, and even the pressure of the tamp,” said Kevin. “And because we’ve been trained so well, we’re able to deliver really great coffee.”
“Our coffee is never bitter, and it doesn’t have that burnt taste,” said Yolanda, “It’s smooth and rich, and that’s because we, as well as all the staff here are passionate about coffee and how we prepare it.”
Lev Reyzin of Glencoe is a math professor at UIC, and comes here to work when he’s not teaching.
“They have great coffee here,” he said, “It’s smooth, and I like to sit by the fire when it’s cold.”
“This is my little office,” said Ari Moffic, a rabbi who works for the non-profit Interfaith Family Chicago. “I work here a lot because it’s quiet and it’s cozy and the coffee is delicious.”
“I love how customers like being here,” said Kevin. “That’s a reflection on our staff, our service and the coffee we serve.”
Glencoe Roast Coffee also sells 12 ounce bags of beans that range from $15-$20.
Brooke Hecht is a Glencoe resident and president of the Center for Humans and Nature. She comes here two days a week to work.
“I love this space,” she said, “It’s warm and welcoming, and there’s something about being in here that makes me feel like I’m part of the Glencoe community.”