When Erica O’Brien opened The Rose Establishment in 2010 she deliberately chose not to provide free internet with her coffees and teas. “We wanted to create a social atmosphere to encourage interaction and be more disconnected from the
electronic world.” This retro idea resides within a former meat packinghouse that was painstakingly restored by O’Brien and her father.
Even before The Rose opened O’Brien put up with predictions of imminent demise. “I had an attorney bet me that in one year I would have internet and then, of course, we never saw him again.” “There were definitely customers that walked out, saying that we would never make it.” O’Brien’s refreshingly Luddite coffee shop concept ignored the cookie cutter internet coffee shop business model.
Now, almost three years later, The Rose still has no internet. The Rose has expanded its fare, adding delights from pastry chef Alexa Norton and a creative lunch menu by cook Cori Norton. Meals are fully prepared in house with produce from the weekly Saturday farmers market. Tea drinkers willl be pleased to know The Rose serves up organic loose-leaf tea. Though neither a scientific poll nor a technological survey proves it, it is clear most customers at The Rose Establishment enjoy their cheesey brioche or Gruyère veggie quiche while looking into human eyes rather than electronic screens. Now, if only that deadbeat lawyer would come back and pay up on his bet. §