Rustica Bakery is a welcome addition to Southdale Center. Clearly, retail trends have compelled shopping malls to evolve to better serve changing consumer preferences. And Southdale’s recent changes seem geared toward making mall visits more unique and enjoyable as well as reclaiming that community gathering space aura many of our isolated souls long for. So now, not only can you pop into Southdale to achieve your fitness goals at Life Time and renew your driver’s license at the Hennepin County Service Center, you can also relax with a cup of coffee and a delicious pastry in the welcoming setting of this well-known bakery and café.
Rustica’s Southdale location is the same size as its original shop on Lake Street in Minneapolis but with a more updated and contemporary design aesthetic. There will also be a newer line of menu items tested specifically for Edina customers in addition to its well-loved pastries, breads and desserts. “There won’t be any food production at the Edina shop but there will be three daily deliveries of fresh food items from the original store,” owner Greg Hoyt says. One of the newer menu items is a charcuterie cone with a sampling of cured meats, cheeses and cornichons perfect for snacking. There will also be grab-and-go sandwiches and salads prepared with Rustica’s simple, fresh and unpretentious approach. Think guilty pleasures for the health-conscious consumer.
Also new will be a selection of locally sourced kombucha with a rotating flavor on tap and a wide selection of compelling coffee drinks. “We’re planning to push the coffee envelope,” Hoyt says, adding that he’s looking forward to offering more cold brew and on tap nitro coffee. Opening the Southdale location “feels a little like when we opened the original [shop],” he says. “The market here is ripe for what we do because we do it a little different.” Those differences are apparent in how Rustica’s coffee is regularly served in ceramic or porcelain cups (although to-go cups are available) and that having coffee at Rustica is an elevated experience, particularly when it comes to presentation which includes something Hoyt is thrilled to bring to Edina, latte art. It’s those unique and Instagramable moments that make us feel a little bit special.
The new location at the northeast end of the mall will have a glass wall overlooking indoor fields at Life Time. Now parents can enjoy a cup of coffee and a croissant while watching their kids having fun. Hoyt is an Edina resident and says he’s excited about the vision Southdale has for the future. Plus, unlike some other trendy metro locations where he could have opened up another shop, Hoyt appreciates the abundance of Southdale’s free parking!
How Caffeinated Are We?
A 2019 National Coffee Data Trends survey reported that for the first time in its 69-year reporting history, gourmet coffee has reached a 60/40 advantage over traditional brewed coffee.
Also, in 2019, 63 percent of those surveyed reported drinking coffee within the past day. That’s a six percent increase over 2016.
Seventy-two percent of those surveyed who were over age 60 reported having drank coffee in the past day, while only 47 percent of those 18–24 years old reported drinking coffee in the past day.
There are no significant regional differences in U.S. coffee consumption. Take that, Seattle.
In 2012, those who reported that their morning cuppa was brewed at home versus in a coffee shop was 84 percent. In 2019, that number was 78 percent.
Consumption of espresso drinks has remained at an all-time high of 24 percent of those surveyed each of the past three years.
Consumption of non-espresso coffee drinks, including frozen blended drinks, cold brew and nitro brew, has jumped from seven percent in 2018 to 11 percent in 2019 with frozen blended drinks holding the largest percentage of our attention.
Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee
Iced coffee is made by simply pouring regularly brewed coffee that’s been cooled over ice.
Cold brew is made by steeping coarse coffee grounds in room temperature water for six–12 hours in order to make a coffee concentrate often served with milk.
Cold brew is said to taste smoother than iced coffee and may even be easier on the stomach for those who are more sensitive to acid.
A downside can be that coffee shops cannot just “brew up a fresh batch” when they run out since the process takes so much longer than regularly brewed coffee.
Nitro brew is coffee infused with nitrogen giving it a foamier texture and a frothy head similar to a draft beer. It’s that nitro foam that tricks the tongue into tasting some sweetness without any added sugar or sweetener. And like a cold brew, the coffee beans used in nitro are often steeped for hours or days, resulting in a less acidic coffee that’s easier on the gut.
Serving nitro brews requires special equipment and Rustica in Southdale Center is excited for the opportunity to add these taps for serving up nitro brews for a growing fan base of nitro connoisseurs.
Get Your Kicks with Kombucha
Kicking the coffee habit in favor of kombucha, or “booch” as the cool kids call it? Rustica plans to serve a rotating flavor of this trendy fermented tea, too. Kombucha is made by combining yeast and a bacteria culture with black or green tea and sugar. The live bacteria created from the blend promotes fermentation that is said to give these teas some probiotic benefits like improved gut health, less bloating and a boosted immune system.
A byproduct of the fermentation process means there is a trace amount of naturally occurring alcohol in kombucha although these drinks must have an ABV that falls below 0.5 percent to avoid being labeled as an alcoholic beverage.
Some brands are carbonated, and many have added juices or other flavoring that give kombucha a bit of a sweet/tart tanginess that some say is an acquired taste. But don’t knock it till you try it. There are a handful of locally brewed varieties and Rustica plans to maintain its commitment to locally-sourced offerings so it’s a good place to begin your adventure into a hip new beverage scene.
Southdale Center, Edina