In the sprawl of Highland Village there's a new place for locals to settle in with a cup of coffee and a book. Roots Coffeehouse is owned and operated by a local couple, Jay and Melanie McWhorter. They are no strangers to the coffee business, but when they began to dream about opening Roots in Highland Village, they knew they wanted it to be more than a coffee shop. "We wanted it to have an artisan feel," Melanie said, "and a way for people to understand and honor the process of coffee." For most of us coffee is a wake-me-up or a quick stop at our local shop in the morning, but for Roots it's much more about the holistic nature of coffee. From farmers and harvesters, roasters and packagers, baristas and customers, the process of making one cup of coffee is worth a farmer's entire day of labor.
The folks at Roots may want their customers to understand the global effects of coffee—but not at the expense of the coffee itself. "We have a honey vanilla latte made from local honey from Round Rock Honey Farmers with a dash of vanilla that's is very popular with our customers. We also have a Cortado, as well as pour-overs like Chemex, French Press, and a custom-made Beehouse for our serious coffee drinkers. We also offer sandwiches, pastries, and homemade granola with grains from Grapevine Grains."
"We want to do things locally that honor things globally," says Melanie, "whether it is providing a great product from our farmers, to create more business for them, or whether it's supporting a community initiative like partnering with area non-profits." In an effort to do this, Roots carries mugs and pottery made by artisans in Cameroon. They're also partnering with local businesses and organizations to see an end to poverty, human-trafficking, and global water needs.
The atmosphere at Roots is calm and peaceful. With interior design and custom art done by a local artist, Dustin Wekesser, to handcrafted furniture throughout the shop to live music on Friday nights, from its inception Roots has been a community project. "Community is important to us. We want Roots to be a place where people can come in, rest, talk, enjoy one another and coffee." They must be succeeding, because even though it's only been open a few weeks, it already feels like Highland Village's very own living room.
Roots Coffeehouse is located at 2570 FM 407, Highland Village, Texas.
Originally published at D Magazine. All images by Dustin Wekesser.