Folsom Library site to get a cafe

By: Roger Phelps, The Telegraph
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Library food has been a no-no in Folsom and elsewhere. But not in Café Quintessence, planned to open early next year within the spacious confines of the Georgia Murray Building, commonly referred to as the Folsom Library. Architects drew up and builders built a space designated for a food-service shop in the Murray building. The space sits two doors down from the library’s main entrance on the building’s north side, away from Natoma Street. It sat empty, however, until Folsom entrepreneur James Mickelson showed interest. City Council members on Oct. 28 approved a contract for Café Quintessence. “I’m hoping for February 2009,” Mickelson said. Library patrons and staff members alike are behind the café plan. “I would definitely use it,” said Jimmy Perez of Folsom as he logged library computer time. Steven Hudson, library assistant, said, “People ask about it all the time, especially when we have story time and mothers come in. We get a lot of inquiries.” After two months of operation, the café will begin to pay the city $1,400 a month in rent. City officials were doubtless a bit self-interested in approving a contract for Café Quintessence. “The preferred plan for the space was for a library café that would provide light refreshment to (library) customers, staff and city employees,” a City Council resolution reads in part. Early on, the café will stick to serving simply prepared items, including salads, cold sandwiches, pastries, smoothies and a variety of other drinks, hot and cold. Mickelson said he is pleased to be able to offer world-class coffee. He currently runs a coffee business, importing beans from around the planet, he said. Later, Cafe Quintessence will expand service, to include soups, hot sandwiches, burritos and gelato. City documents suggest a lot of work will go into creating an aesthetically pleasing environment in the café. “The design concept for Café Quintessence comes from relating four stages of coffee making – growing, roasting, brewing and aroma – with the four elements of earth, fire, water and air,” the operator proposal states. “This will allow for four different wall designs, each with its own color palette, lighting scheme and component materials – all unified by an overarching concept.” Mickelson said he wants to create a social gathering space for townspeople. “Cafes are such community-oriented establishments,” he said. “Anybody of any status of life goes to mingle and loiter.”