Nicolette Lovell

First Look: Camellia Coffee

WAL Public Market has a new addition and Sacramento is all about it. Yes, we’re talking about the new coffee shop that’s making an appearance on your feed. After launching their wholesale business, Camellia Coffee Roasters finally settled into a little corner on R Street where you can visit them for a healthy dose of millennial pink tile and rubber stamped cups. Despite their quality coffee and killer decor (hats off to Emily Wilder Designs), Camellia flies a little under the radar and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Dedicated to their coffee and their customers, this shop wants each experience to be as unique and personal as the people who drop by. We visited the team, devoured their new breakfast sandwich, and asked a few questions about their locale, the ups and downs of getting to where they are, and what sets Camellia apart.

How are things going with Camellia since opening — are things as you expected they would be?
We made it! We’ve had a solid following from the beginning, we’re excited to make coffee for our friends and family at long last. We launched the way we were hoping, slightly under the radar. This way we can better manage coffee and food production.

Why did you choose to open Camellia at WAL Public Market?
After two years of tackling obstacles at our 12th Street spot (we are bad at building things), the WAL Public Market offered us an opportunity to take root in a unique and lively spot. We also wanted to join a group of other passion-project businesses and bring our own boost of energy into the space.

What other areas of Sacramento are you interested in being in?
Alkali Flat! We would love to start roasting in there ASAP! Beyond that, we are always looking to grow our wholesale family. We love partnering with Sacramento’s talented chefs & bartenders.

When do you hope to have your second location up and running?
We’ve learned better than to give any specific timelines, but we are hoping for a summer opening date. Now that people have somewhere they can experience Camellia coffee, the focus for 12th St has shifted from being our flagship store to being primarily a roasting and training facility.  

Will your next location be a stand-alone coffee shop, or will it be in a collaborative space like the WAL Public Market location?
We would like to have another stand-alone coffee shop down the road and to expand our scope beyond Sacramento.

How do these environments differ, and which do you prefer for Camellia?
Hitting the ground in a shared space has been great for us, as it’s provided us with an instant community of like-minded business owners and guests who have warmed well to our vibe. We wanted to shake things up, so we found the up and coming R St project to be the appropriate place to do so. Starting in a shared space turned out to be a great move for Camellia Coffee Roasters, but it is important to us to create an experience that is completely Camellia at some point.

How is Camellia looking to compete in the coffee-heavy city of Sacramento?
We were just looking to create something that felt true to ourselves, and we believe we offer a highly genuine and personal experience. The goal is to have so much fun with our friends and neighbors that we don’t have to think about competition. Our coffees are delicious and are roasted and brewed with dedication. Our method is to keep things simple to give space for flexibility and fun.

What’s been the most exciting thing about launching Camellia?
Getting coffee to our friends and family that have supported us along the way, bringing in cool kids to support our cause, and introducing new people to barista life.

Can we find Camellia anywhere else in Sacramento?
You can catch our coffees in our Ruhstaller collaboration, at Hook & Ladder, Golden Bear, Brass Clover, Tank House, Ginger Elizabeth in SF, Bottle & Barlow has us in their cocktails and in their barbershop, and our bags of beans are only available at R St.

With Camellia’s new location on the horizon, consider us on coffee-watch until further notice. You can keep up with Camellia Coffee Roasters on Facebook and Instagram, and don’t forget to use #camelliacoffeeroasters on that #coffeegram of yours. Too many hashtags?