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Sweet Donkey Coffee House located in Crystal Springs.
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A customer makes herself comfortable to get down to work.
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Get your very own SDC cup.
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A comfy spot for customers.
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From coffee to tea, options are plentiful.
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A pretty mocha
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"The Donkey is symbolic of versatility, intelligence, hard work, determination, and a willingness to take onboard the responsibilities and burdens of others (beast of burden). The donkey is an indefatigable worker and personifies the qualities of determination and service. Additionally, just as a horse was often used to portray times of war, the donkey has long portrayed times of peace." (Sweet Donkey Coffee House website)
Co-owned by Ann-Maree White and Dustin Eshelman, Roanoke's newest coffee shop opened on March 6, 2014. White was kind enough to sit down with me for a brief chat on why they brought SDC to the Crystal Springs area.
"We both live in the neighborhood and liked the idea of a coffee shop here," she says. "When we saw this available space, it screamed coffee shop. With the neighborhood, greenway, hospital, and local businesses, we're seeing great community response."
Upon walking into Sweet Donkey Coffee, I was immediately struck by the coziness of it all. The shop is tucked inside an enormous house, where they've managed to give each room its own personality with different paint colors and comfortable furniture (I was only half-joking when I asked White if I could take those blue chairs home).
SDC even has rooms upstairs that where customers can hunker down with their laptops in peace and quiet. Those rooms can also be reserved for small groups, a great idea for those looking to gather their teams for meetings (what creative group, after all, brainstorms without coffee within easy reach?).
They've partnered with Counter Culture Coffee, a Durham-based company that provides organically certified brews. Much like any craft beer brewer or wine vinters learn how to bring out natural flavors of their materials, SDC showcases the unique flavors of their beans (as opposed to the intensity of the roast). Raspberry, vanilla, citrus, and chocolate are just a few flavors that can appear in their coffee thanks to the dedicated work staff puts in.
They also serve local products such as Homestead Creamery; local bakers are outsourced to bring in fresh pastries and other goodies; and they also serve small lunch items like soup and quiche if you're looking for a quick bite.
"Our teas are also really fabulous," adds White. "We've had good response to our fantastic Rishi teas."