Two sisters with a passion for sustainable practices and holistic eating have opened a specialty coffee shop near downtown Oakland. The Prairie House Coffee Co opened Sept. 17, and Jade Dinsdale and Alexa Maisonet already are seeing regulars visit daily and weekly.
The menu at the new shop, located on South Tubb Street, includes an assortment of light bites, gluten-free baked goods and single-origin coffee. A small gift area offers clothing and home decór.
Canadians Maisonet and Dinsdale explained their concept on the Prairie House Coffee Co Facebook page: “There is a region in Central-Western Canada called the Prairies, where the people are warm and the baked goods that sit on tables in old farmhouses from the turn of the century are passed down from generation to generation. This is the heart of Prairie House Coffee Co, and we will be including these century old recipes in a space that embodies that same sentiment.
Both are West Orange County residents — Dinsdale in Gotha, Alexa in Ocoee — who fell in love with the charm of Oakland and wanted to collaborate on a brick-and-mortar business venture in the heart of the town.
They jumped on the chance when space in the historic building became available.
“We loved this building,” Dinsdale said. “It’s got so much charm and history and, since we’ve been here, there’s so many people who have taught us more than we knew, and it’s been really cool.”
We were born and raised in Canada in the prairies – so that small-town feel just has always resonated with us,” she said. “Everybody here in Oakland knows everybody else. We wanted to bring that to life and offer a friendly and quaint and warm energy.”
Seating is available inside and on the back porch for enjoying a cup solo or with a small group of friends.
The Prairie House menu offers an assortment of coffees, espressos, cappuccinos and lattes; drinks with medicinal properties, such as Midsummer’s Night (with Reishi, cacao, brown sugar, vanilla and milk) and Invincible (drip coffee, grass-fed butter, coconut oil, cinnamon and local honey); teas, including matcha and chai lattes; two housemade toast choices; and baked goods made from scratch.
Taste of Autumn has become a shop favorite, with its espresso, organic spices and a choice of organic whole, oat or macadamia milk. Chaga, an adaptogenic mushroom, can be added to lower stress in the body, Dinsdale said.
All menu items are gluten free, and most of them are organic.
The coffee comes from two sources: Methodical Coffee, out of Greenville, South Carolina, which sources sustainably, Dinsdale said, and the local Downtown Credo, which works directly with farmers.
“We wanted to be more of a farm-to-table concept, so we wanted to know … exactly where it was coming from,” Dinsdale said. “We were considerate when we picked the roasters.”
The owners are conscious of their diet and look carefully at all ingredients, the said.
“It has made a big difference to us, so we wanted to offer that to the public as well,” Dinsdale said. “We just wanted to be considerate of the things we are serving.”
They acknowledged there are multiple coffee shops around West Orange County but said they wanted to take a different angle with their product.
“For us, coffee is a beautifully connective ritual,” Dinsdale said. “We want you to feel good emotionally, physically and mentally when you’re here because we have been conscious of the ingredients ourselves.”
The sisters both have a background in healthy living. Dinsdale has several certifications in holistic health coaching, and Maisonet is a doula who strives for holistic living.
As they become established in Oakland, Maisonet and Dinsdale are hoping to extend their coffee shop hours. They also are working on expanding their menu to include breakfast sandwiches.
“We’ve been so grateful to meet so many people in the community already,” they said. “We enjoy making connections and cultivating a warm sense of community.”
Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.