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There's a chef in the kitchen

Thankfully there has been good weather the last few months because we've needed to open the doors in Sherwood a few times while experimenting in the kitchen.  New smells are permiating the shop, making baristas hungry while on shift and customers ask "What are you making?"  There's an oven and a grill in the back now, along with someone to work them.  We are excited to introduce to you our new Executive Chef:  Rochelle Weiss

Rochelle Weiss, Executive Chef 

Rochelle Weiss, Executive Chef 

Rochelle is new on staff, but she's been a part of the Symposium family from the very beginning of opening the Sherwood shop.  When we sat down to talk, she had stories from when the shop first opened involving one of the upstairs rooms and lots of ladybugs.  Rochelle has seen every new hire, been apart of the shop from the outside, and now she's stepping in to whip up a new menu.

"I love, love, love to go out to eat; doesn't matter if it's McDonald's and getting a Big Mac, or going out to Le Pigeon with friends," Rochelle says in the sincerest tone you have ever heard someone use while speaking of food.  "Has to be with friends," she insists.  Food for Rochelle is a way to share experiences.

"I love summer and spring and everything that brings into the food season; going out and picking berries, going hiking, simple flavors, barbecues," and of course spending time with friends during all those things.  

Combined with her life-long love of baking, beginning with her grandmother's ginger snaps as a kid and Rochelle's recent training at Le Courdon Blu, (plus the evidence of her delicious quiches already being served in the shops) we are confident in our newest team member's creative approach to freshening up our food menu.

Keep visiting us here and in the shop for updates on the new menu.  Right now we are looking forward to a fresh summer salad and unique sandwiches.  Are there any menu items you want to see us add?  Let us know in the comments!

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Symposium Stories: Garden Grounds

ground coffee

Every evening around 5pm, Symposium baristas pull a bin out from under the counter, grasp a scoop in hand and sink it into a pile of coarse, used, coffee grounds.  We pile the grounds into the bags they arrived in as whole beans, and set the full bags outside the counter for free.

Customers take garden grounds as they please to add to their garden or compost piles.  The acidic composure of the grounds mixed with soil gives a boost to "acid-loving plants, like azaleas, rhododendrons and blueberries." (www.gardensalive.com)  Experts like those at GardensAlive.com advise to "not overdo it on those and other flowering plants...which makes plants grow big, but can inhibit the numbers of flowers and fruits."

Our Tigard customer Ralph has the recipe down pat though, and is sharing his beautiful flowers with us.  We are thankful to him for sharing the fruits of his gardens with us.

ralph's flowers

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Portlandia at Symposium

Last summer we were thrilled when Portlandia asked to film at our Symposium Tigard location.  Of course we immediately said yes.  The date was picked, plans were made, we pulled our brand new Mobile Muse coffee cart to serve drinks in the parking lot while filming was taking place, and some of our staff were beside themselves when we were told who the guest director and actor would be.

Now we are excited to announce that the episode featuring our Tigard shop, directed by Steve Buscemi, guest staring Louis C.K., will be airing this Thursday on IFC.  

That's our shop!  (Photo from www.seattletimes.com)

That's our shop!  (Photo from www.seattletimes.com)

Carrie and Fred haven't been back to the shop yet, but we've got plenty of local coffee for them when they do.  (And we'll even let them talk at the counter while they're ordering.)

Watch a clip from this Thursday's Portlandia episode on Facebook!

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We Love Our Towns

heartlatte

February is all about the love, no matter how you look at it.  Valentine’s in the middle of the month, it’s American Heart Month, there is support and solidarity through Black History Month, International Purple Hijab Day, and the international observance of Season for Nonviolence.  This February, we’ve decided to share the love by telling you how much we love our communities.

The best part about being a coffee shop is the community in and around the shop.  We feel incredibly fortunate to have unique communities in both Sherwood and Tigard, with customers from all over the Portland metro area.  Communities that we are able to engage with, customers we create relationships with, and a space to let meaningful connections happen.

Throughout the month we are going to be highlighting what we love about both Sherwood and Tigard and showing our appreciation for you, our customers.

We're kicking off the month with a discount for using a reusable mug, with a little extra if you use your Symposium logo Hydro Flask.  (Because among all the things we love, the planet is one of them.)

Let us know what YOU love about our towns in the comments, and stay tuned for what we have in store this month!

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First of many

cottonwoodtrees

With the purchase of our shop and property in Sherwood a few months ago came the opportunity to make changes we have dreamed of for quite a while.  It's nearly impossible to occupy a space regularly and not come up with ways to make it even a little bit better.  After five years our ideas never seem to end, and our list is long, but we are enjoying small changes that make differences for our staff and customers alike.

The first changes we have made this month have taken place behind the scenes as well as right in the lot.  

As you can see, the cottonwood trees in the corner of our Sherwood lot are gone!  Today the stumps were ground up, ready to be completely removed.  This one (large) project lays the groundwork for more improvements to come.  Some of those plans include planting new native trees, instead of sustaining an invasive species.

We are excited to share this news with you, and looking forward to reporting more progress.  We plan on making improvements in the most ecologically sound way as possible.  Stay tuned to hear what's going on!

We'll see you in the shop soon.

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Holiday Plans

In order for our staff to have a chance to relax with their loved ones, we will be closing early on Christmas Eve at 2pm and closed on Christmas Day.

resonate christmas

We also invite you to join us as we celebrate the season with a Resonate Christmas Eve service at Bella Via in Old Town Sherwood.  There will be two services, one at 5pm, another at 7pm with hot chocolate and goodies in between.  Many of our staff and families will be in attendance, and we hope to see you there as well.

Happy Holidays!

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Remembering Steven Smith

Thank you Steven Smith, for helping us get started with Symposium Coffee.  We both were carving out new ideas back then.  I remember when we first started, you helped me hand load the boxes in my car, put our tea combination together, and trained us well. 

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Why we love Stumptown

We love Stumptown because of how much they value relationships. Stumptown is extremely intentional about creating relationships that are lasting. They strive to form partnerships with farmers as they work with and then go above and beyond to secure that relationship. You’ll see bags labeled with the Direct Trade sticker on the upper right hand corner on our bags. These stickers let you know that Stumptown has an active relationship with their farmers. To quote Stumptown, “...(It’s) our way of saying ‘this one is in it for the long run.” Stumptown doesn’t just buy coffee from a farmer season to season; they commit to the farmer for years whether or not the crop is fruitful because they value building a lasting relationship that will leave a lasting impact on those communities.

Much like Stumptown, Symposium is committed to the community surrounding us. We want to impact communities and allow our shops to be a space for stories to intersect. When you’re at Symposium, you’re part of a global story that reaches far beyond us, Portland, Oregon, or the United States. You’re impacting a community halfway around the world. The cup in your hand is as much part of your story as it is the humble farmer’s.

Learn more about Stumptown’s Direct Trade here: http://stumptowncoffee.com/education-overview/direct-trade/

 

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Symposium Stories

We are starting a series called Symposium Stories. These are stories that make Symposium everything that it is. We have always been founded upon the notion that relationships are above all else. We define ourselves as "a gathering place for relationship and conversation." We know that Symposium has turned into a special place for so many of us and we are so grateful for all of you. Symposium’s story is as much yours as it is ours, without you we would not exist. 

Please feel free to share your stories with us! 

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