Taproot Cafe & Bar
4908 Rainier Ave S Suite A
Owners: Anthony Polizzi & Tiana Garret
How long in business? 4+ years
Year opened? We took over ownership on July 15th, 2012 (formerly Jus Bar)
What does your business do? We have a business that functions as a café, but offers a very diverse menu that still houses homemade and familiar options. The focus is on the flavor, but the benefit is with the quality of the ingredients and having fun with fresh flavors.
What are your main products/services? The selections we offer are a great representation of who my partner Anthony and I are and our individual influences in our restaurant experiences. From soups to salads, hearty sandwiches, an in house gluten free program with pastas and breads, Caffe Vita Coffee, organic juices and natural smoothies, as well as killer cocktails made to order.
What problem do you solve for your customers? What necessity or desire do you satisfy? I think the biggest problem we solve is the endless struggles individuals have on getting what they want, but without the guilt. There has been a generous amount of time dedicated to reaching that fine balance when you have the excitement of something new, the overwhelming comfort of something familiar, and the proper fuel you need to feel good and go about your day.
I think these three things are a great reflection of what we offer to our customers as well, the employees are invested in this place, because they are creating its identity as much as we are. They will start with a familiar hello, perhaps give you an enthusiastic description of their favorite new pastry, or handpie, and our hope is with friendly faces, and great food, our customers leave better then they came in.
What inspired you to start your business? My partner, Anthony, and I have a very extensive background when it comes to restaurants, and running businesses. We met where he is still the Executive Chef in the Pike Place Market, but it was time to begin our own project. He is the New Yorker who has the Deli offerings as a cornerstone of his childhood, and I carry more of the lighter seasonal affair growing up in Northern California with the bounty of farms and fresh ingredients from Sonoma to San Francisco.
What makes your business different or unique compared to your competitors? What makes us unique is exactly what gives us our own interpretation of dishes, with where and how we grew up we are the perfect odd couple. This may seem strange, but it allows us to both shine, as well as fine balance within the menu. It also guarantees that it is almost impossible not to find something that identifies with who you and fall in love with it.
What do you like most about what you do? I have spent most of my life in some career that captivates my creativity and allows me to share that with others. What is great with our current cafe is that it is intimate enough that I am able to build relationships, offer suggestions, modify menu items for peoples individual needs with confidence.
This industry is completely unique in so many ways, your kitchen belongs to everyone, and your tables are just waiting for the next unexpected guest. It is an extension of who you are, and becomes more of a home in many ways then a business.
Do you have any special news, deals or events to promote in the year ahead? We have hosted several wine and beer dinners that have been an absolute success, and look forward to hosting more. One of the things I tend to take the most pride in is growing as a community, so we will continue to help others build their businesses, whether that be Tarot Tuesday, Valentines events with local photographers and jewelry makers, or additional dinners brought to you by other friends of the community offering their culinary delights.
Do you have any future plans for growth or expansion that you can share with us? We have been looking for an additional space for the future, but Seattle is a bit saturated in its current state. So we have put our focus into expanding our catering program, hosting large events in our space, and working on offsite catering that offer more of an intimate menu of cocktails paired with unique appetizers, and smaller dinner parties with paired wines for the restaurant experience in the comfort of your own home.
What is the most important thing you want people to know about you/your business? We are committed to not just feeding our community, but feeding off one another to build a stronger one. In a city full of development, and big companies, our neighborhood survives with individuals working together to make their dreams happen.
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