Rohs Street Cafe grew out of a small coffeehouse-style performance venue that University Christian Church hosted called Grounds For Thought Coffeehouse. Initially, Grounds For Thought met once a month in the basement of UCC and served as a space for music, art, conversation and community building. At the same time that renovations to UCC's building were taking place, conversations began about creating a more permanent space for just these kinds of interactions - and thus, Rohs Street Cafe was born. It wasn't an easy process, and we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the original Rohs Street crew (see framed photograph in the cafe).
We weren't as crazy about coffee in the beginning, but a year and a half after opening, Les Stoneham (our first barista and now roaster) took an influential trip with UCC to Santa Maria de Jesus in Guatemala. He established the relationship that would become a cornerstone of our coffee and mission as a cafe: the La Armonia Hermosa cooperative.
We've always wanted to make the world a better place, but since those early days we've added the goal of having the best cup of coffee in Cincinnati as well. We strive to provide our local community with a warm, open space to gather, relax, create, and build great relationships. By partnering with Deeper Roots Coffee, we ensure that our coffee is not only carefully crafted, but also ethically sourced to improve the lives of small coffee farmers and their families and communities. Groups from UCC and Rohs Street Cafe still travel to Guatemala each year to serve the coffee growing communities there and to remind ourselves how and why we got here.