Our newest coffee shop, Morgan’s Mill, begins their soft opening tomorrow morning. James Morgan, Manager of Morgan’s Mill, sat down to discuss Yolo Eats newest venture and how his vision turned into reality.
Morgan’s Mill is going to be a place where you can have a business meeting, meet up with your friends, or do a little studying. There is enough room for socializing or if you need to focus on a bit of reading or blogging 😉 . The seats are comfortable, the coffee is delicious (tested the Americano, mocha, and brewed coffee, all great) and the small bites/treats are perfect.
Stop by this week, test out the drinks and make sure to follow their Facebook page to receive the latest information directly from them.
What is Morgan’s Mill?
Morgan’s Mill is a coffee, wine, and beer café and we serve specialty waffles, create your own waffles. We’ll have breakfast burritos provided by Maria’s Cantina. We’ll have specialty pastries and scones. Actually, Yolo Eats just hired a new pastry chef and he’s done some incredible things. So there’s gonna be new desserts in all of our restaurants as well.
Why did you choose Woodland?
Well, you know I grew up in Woodland and there’s so much about this town … it’s just kind of perfect in a lot of ways. For me it was that this town really gave so much to me. My high school was incredible, the teachers and Justin Smith, who is the administrator at the school now, really just influenced me in a good way. As well as family friends that have treated me as their own kid. It’s just been such a welcoming and encouraging place to be that I wanted to give back.
It really is perfect timing too. The revamping of Sacramento has kind of sparked a change in Woodland and we’ve been getting a lot more traffic as Davis gets more crowded as well as Sacramento. So, we’re on the cusp of being this incredibly great niche town.
How was the experience of getting Morgan’s Mill up and running?
I was so nervous meeting with contractors and meeting Ken Haitt and other people from the city, but they were so encouraging and welcoming and people were like, “It’s so cool what you’re doing.”
I see these other successful restaurants and businesses. The first person I think of is Juan and Toby from Savory Cafe. These guys have so much experience and they’re hustling around and they’re always happy and I’m just like, “Man, do I have what it takes to do that?” But I think when you’re questioning yourself, when you’re asking, “Can I do this?”, when you’re nervous and you’re like, “I’m out of my element,” that’s when you can step up and succeed. I think what I’m getting to do is pretty cool!
Describe the location, The Mill?
It used to be a rice mill and I actually live here too. They’re kind of live/work spaces. There’s a few salons here now as well as Urban Soul and a few other small businesses. So, it’s kind of become its own little metropolitan area and it’s really kind of neat.
What have you done to the space?
So we converted the first room into a prep kitchen, dish pit and ordering station with our espresso machine. My vision for that was embracing the dark tones naturally and then placing a creamy white giant espresso machine in the middle, just as a focal point. So we had the ceilings painted black. We had our counters spray painted black. It’s got a dark hardwood finish on top. So obviously you have to have stainless steel, which kind of goes with it. So I really wanted to just be this dark somber, with this really bright highlight.
And then in the main casual room, I kind of had this vision right off the bat of both ends being kind of cozy, comfortable places to hunker down and maybe play a board game with your friends, or have a conversation, like talk about real stuff. And then creating the middle was a little bit more … stale’s not the right word, but a little bit colder, so it’s like, that’s where the traffic goes to the patio or if you’re leaving. If you want to stay and really get into it, sink into the corners, sink back into the couch.
Where is the coffee from?
The coffee is roasted by Entimo’s, it’s a two guy roasting company out of Sacramento. They actually are really neat guys, Matt and Tim. They met in church, both talked about coffee and liked it so much that they decided to start this roasting company. They’ve been doing pretty well for themselves. So we were looking for different coffees and not really hitting anything too good. Not getting anything that made us enjoy it and then we found them.
Our whole goal is to try and keep it as local as possible and embrace Yolo County and the surrounding areas. And with our beers, we’re looking to get beer from Blue Note Brewing Company, and a few other breweries in the area and kind of bring as many of those we can, rotate a little bit, but stay faithful to the ones’ closest to us.
What do you want Woodland to know?
More than anything, I want Woodland to know that we’re here and we love it. And we love Woodland. Defining your core principles for which you run your business by, for me the biggest one is I want us to be the ultimate host. When I went through the hiring process, what I looked at was, is this a person that if I went to their house, would treat me like family? And that’s what we want. I want people to come in here, not get bombarded with like, “Tell me everything about your life.” But knowing that they’re in a place that appreciates them on a more than just business or customer to vendor level. I want to tell them, “Hey, this is a safe place and if you want to come in here and chill out for three hours, do it. We’ll talk to you. If you want to sit by yourself, do it. This is your second home.”