Back in October, before this blog was even a reality, I was following local foodies on Instagram. I kept seeing pictures of The Fairview, a new coffee bar on North St. Mary’s, and their amazing donuts and donut flights. As soon as I had the chance I planned a date with my friend Alethea so that we could check it out. We arrived at 10:30 a.m. on a Friday and to our disappointment the entire baked goods display and all of the donuts were sold out! The waffles were also. Since I’m not a coffee drinker (probably the only one!) that was not a draw for me. We both ended up ordering the Avocado Toast and I had a hot chocolate. It was good but definitely not what I was expecting! According to their website The Fairview Coffee Bar & Grub is “a barista owned coffee bar and nano-roaster featuring an in-house baking program.” It is owned by husband/wife team John and Whitney Sanchez who are embracing the “tiny shop movement.”
After leaving I ended up writing a Yelp review, and saw that other’s had the same experience as us. Even though we were told it was just a busy morning, I sensed that was not the case. Many customers were coming in specifically for the donuts! I was pleased when Whitney wrote a response directly to me. I knew she may be defensive. I’m a business owner, as well as my husband, and your business is your baby. This blog is my baby too! Any criticism, especially when you are new and still trying to figure things out, can hurt. But I really meant it to be constructive. I could tell this place had major potential and felt they were super lucky to already have such a strong Instagram presence! I didn’t want them to lose the momentum they had going.
Here is how Whitney responded to my review. “We are a coffee shop with an artisan and scratch made in-house food program. We only have 1 baker (and a part time assistant) to put out every single pastry item, freshly made each night in the small space you saw walking in. We are also a start up business working to figure out our numbers to reduce waste. Like any other coffee shop, our goal is to order the correct number of pastries in order to sell out by the end of our day. Some days we still have a mountain of donuts, muffins, bread puddings and galettes by close. Some (rare) days we do sell out early due to a higher volume of business than usual. On the weekends we often do sell out of donuts earlier, but are making the highest capacity of that one item as is possible with our equipment and staff. Again, we aren’t in fact a donut shop and are putting out new items regularly to help compliment our coffee and food programs. We on the service side also spend countless hours prepping our scratch made sauces, waffles, bread, toast components, etc and always hope to get it right to be able to offer everything until food service finishes at 2. We literally work in the shop 7 days a week if you would like to come in and talk to us further on your critique. We don’t often check Yelp reviews due to the…nature of most reviews on the platform as a whole.”
I decided to just thank her for her response, wish her well and check back in later. Well, this past Thursday was the day. I continued to see those donuts posted on Instagram, still tempting me. I wanted to try one! Whether they want to be known for their donuts or not, the fact is that’s what’s getting them the most attention. So I called in advance. The girl on the phone was very friendly and told me they had plenty to choose from. When I arrived late in the afternoon at 1, there were many options. I went with the Cookie Dough. Yum, was it good! Along with a hot chocolate and order of avocado toast, I was very happy with my afternoon treat.
Some other unique donut choices in the case were S’more, Elderflower Cordial, Samoa Girl Scout Cookie, Fruity Pebbles, Key Lime Pie and Dirty Chai. Come to find out The Fairview is now using a New York City vegan baker who just moved to San Antonio, Lauren O’Connor, with Cake Thieves. Her slogan is “we make vegan things that don’t taste vegan…cause that would be gross.” To me, they were soft and delicious, I couldn’t tell a difference with them being vegan!
Lauren told me the two paired up about a month ago and she is providing all of the donuts for the Fairview. This summer she plans on opening a local all vegan diner but will continue to do wholesale orders with coffee shops. It appears that the Fairview is stocked full of donuts every day except Monday, in addition to their regular daily menu. Sitting in their coffee shop for about 3 hours I heard countless people ask about the donuts, the unique flavors, and then order one. I’m not sure if my review, or the others I saw, led to this collaboration but I’d like to think so! As for the coffee, which I’m sure is phenomenal, their online menu shows:
+housemade horchata with espresso over
Plus hot chocolate, teas, chocolate milk and organic OJ.
You can even pick up a treat for your furry friend while you’re there! Plus they sell really cute coffee mugs and t-shirts. The name “Fairview” has significance to me as it’s the school district my mom worked at in Pennsylvania for 39 years and a neighboring town where I grew up!
If you live on the Northwest side of town like me, it’s worth the drive. Check them out at:
The Fairview Coffee Bar & Grub
3428 North Saint Mary’s Street
San Antonio, TX 78212
7am to 4 pm
Saturday & Sunday
8 am to 4 pm
Living with soul,