by Claire Swinarski
COFFEE CATERING Roast Coffee Catering
PHOTOGRAPHY Heather Cook Elliott Photography
When it comes to your wedding meal, you’re probably focused on the main course, the cake, or your signature drink. But if you want to add a kick of caffeine and be a bit more outside the box, having a custom espresso bar can up the ante and add an unexpected treat for your guests.
It’s pretty common to have coffee served after your meal, but it’s typically just plain brewed joe. By having a custom espresso bar, you can serve your guests lattes, mochas, or cappuccinos in specialty flavors for a whole new after-dinner caffeine experience.
When Ryan Mason opened Roast Coffee Catering 10 years ago, it started as a small retail coffee location. But Roast Coffee Catering is now the premier coffee and espresso bar catering company in Wisconsin and has taken the wedding scene by storm. In 2009, they were asked to provide espresso bar service for a corporate event, and after hearing the suggestion from a wedding photographer to start catering weddings, Mason took the notion and ran with it. Brides and grooms routinely want to provide a unique service at their reception that leaves guests talking, and a coffee bar serviced by professional baristas with made-to-order drinks and specialty concoctions is always a huge hit.
As everything is about the details, Roast Coffee Catering uses local ingredients whenever possible. The baristas at the Roast Coffee Catering have been trained in the art of espresso preparation, how to properly steam milk and offer the best customer service. Roast also makes sure there are no hidden costs in the paperwork. This means every couple knows that their mocha infused-drink is included, as is delivery and set-up, all in one bill. That kind of level and attention to detail is required when handling many people while still keeping the orders straight and the quality of the product perfect.
Why should brides consider having an espresso bar at their wedding?
“Coffee is such an overlooked piece at any wedding. To do a specialty espresso bar is something that a lot of caterers don’t offer, and that’s where we fit in. It’s a great tie between the after-dinner dessert and dancing. It’s something that people don’t typically see and when they do, they’re really impressed by it. Having an espresso bar also helps people get up after the meal and start dancing.
“Any bride can have coffee at their wedding, but we love doing weddings where coffee means something to the bride. Either brides who met their grooms in a coffee shop, or they both work at a coffee shop, or coffee is just part of their story. It can be a unique way to add that bit of personality to your wedding.
“Brides also use the coffee bar as their wedding favor a lot. Instead of having a throwaway item on the table, your guests can have a custom beverage that they can enjoy then and there.”
What kinds of drinks does Roast Coffee Catering offer at weddings?
“We stay away from plain brewed coffee, because that’s what catering companies handle. Our drinks are meant to add a culinary touch to the meal. We make a roseberry latte, which is strawberry and rosemary. We do a sweet ginger latte, which has hints of ginger and vanilla. We do harvest lattes in the fall. One of our packages offers custom latte flavors that we work with the bride to create, if they want to add in their favorite flavor or match it to their wedding cake. We really do a wide range of beverages.”
What should brides know about budgeting for an espresso bar?
“Most brides view having an espresso bar as a luxury item, but it’s not as expensive as you might think it is. We have two different packages and can work with a bride to make it as affordable as possible. Also, by having a custom espresso bar, you could be driving down the cost of an open bar since some people may choose coffee over a cocktail.”
What have brides said about having a custom espresso bar?
“Brides absolutely rave about it. I’ve had brides tell me that having a coffee bar was a non-negotiable at their wedding. They say their guests are still talking about it months after their wedding — you don’t see it very often, so when you do, it’s something that guests remember.”