Drew Rosen opens Fresh Foods Café in downtown Long Beach, specializing in “specialty-grade coffee,” sandwiches, soups, and salads.
Rosen moved to Long Beach last year from Florida, where he owned four restaurants in Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. He’s been working in restaurants since he was 15 and developed the menu for Fresh Foods Café.
The space previously housed a restaurant called Simon & Seafort’s and was most recently a doctor’s office. The space is 3200 square feet, with 55 seats inside and 50 seats outside. The restaurant has a beer and wine license.
We do a lot of things that are different from other restaurants,” says Rosen. “We make our own bread, our own pastries and bagels. We have a rotisserie. There’s a huge salad bar. Choose as many items as you want, then we chop it at the chopping station. We have four soups every day, including black bean chili.” Fresh Foods Café also offers “unbelievable” turkey and veggie burgers, plus a hamburger utilizing a custom blend of sirloin, chuck and short rib, served on a sweet potato bun.
Rosen also takes his coffee seriously. “Most coffeehouses buy roasted coffee,” Rosen writes on the Fresh Foods website. “Many don’t even know where their beans come from. That is not good enough! That is why we partnered with Elan Organic Coffee, the premier organic, socially responsible, bird friendly coffee importer in the country.” On the phone yesterday, Rosen said Fresh Foods Café will offer coffee that rivals Intelligentsia and LAMILL. They’ll roast coffee beans in the middle of the restaurant. He’s hoping for a four-day shelf life for Fresh Foods coffee, and will pull beans from the shelves after two weeks. Cold coffee beverages will incorporate cold-brewed coffee. A bottomless cup of “premium blend” costs $1.99.
Once Fresh Foods Café starts running full steam, they’ll cater to nearby offices. Rosen also plans to host coffee roasting and cupping classes, plus cooking classes.