Retro Roast is a plant-based, woman-owned coffee bar serving handcrafted caffeinated brews and sustainability. Located in Orlando, Florida this coffee shop runs a closed loop glass jar system and offers psychedelic-themed drinks like Lavy (lavender) Chai Lattes, Belgian Waffle Cold Brew, and Magical Moonlight Milk Teas. The Orlando Chapter sat down with Owner, Jaimie Jarlson to talk about Retro Roast and their Ocean-Friendly practices. Don’t forget to bring your own reusable cup next time you visit this Ocean Friendly Restaurant!
1. Tell us about Retro Roast and how it came to be.
Jaimie: Retro Roast started with an already vegan diet and love for coffee. As a new mother I wanted to find a way to have more time to be a present mother. Prior to opening Retro Roast I had worked in coffee shops for about 5 years and always had a dream to one day own my own. So, when it came time to return from maternity leave, I was leaning more toward opening my own business rather than returning to the corporate world.
Owner, Jaimie Jarlson and family
2. Tell us a bit about Retro Roast's sustainability practices. Why is sustainability important to you?
Jaimie: Implementing sustainability within the brand was a no brainer as we already had those practices in our home. I just wanted to show our community that sustainability is not as hard as people make it out to be - through every cup we serve in one of our to go mason jars we are diverting thousands of single use paper/plastic cups from the landfill.
3. Do you find that customers are receptive to your ocean friendly practices?
Jaimie: I would definitely say our customers are more thrilled then bummed about our ocean friendly practices which ultimately makes me very happy to be one of the people promoting this within our community.
4. Do you see any cost savings associated with running a refill program?
Jaimie: At first, I will be honest we did not see any cost savings in the beginning, with little to no returns but as we grew our customer base more and more people do bring back their jars or bring their reusable cups so we are now starting to see the savings.
Owner, Jaimie Jarlson with a reusable jar
5. Do you have any advice for restaurants looking to make more sustainable choices?
Jaimie: Any businesses looking to make sustainable choices I would say go through the non sustainable products that you already have on hand and the next time you go to make a product purchase choose the sustainable products then. Also, I highly recommend having a composting service, that's the easiest first transition in my opinion.
6. What are your goals for the future?
Jaimie: One of our current goals for 2024 is to start catering whether it be private events or corporate businesses to expand our sustainable practices and love for coffee. As well as hosting more wellness retreats and community clean ups.
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Photos provided by Retro Roast