— Flash Rosenberg
Placerville Coffee Depot
If you have been wondering about the new yellow building at 70 Main St. in Placerville that looks like a small turn-of-the-century railroad station, it is the Placerville Coffee Depot, a new coffee drive-through and walk-up store.
According to owner John Mosbacher, it started out as a purchase of some surplus California state land several years ago and ended up like this.
“In 2007 my wife Cindy and I decided it would be a nice location to have a coffee place as it is visible from Highway 50, which would not only be good for us, but bring people off the highway into Placerville. It has taken a lot of work and money, but we think it is an asset to the city and brightened up a part of Main Street that had been let go. We added sidewalks where there had been none and parking for adjacent buildings that only had parking in front that required people to dangerously back out onto Main Street.
“Several years ago I went to the yogurt shop next door and asked if they wanted to be involved in what we were doing. They said they really wanted to get out of the business, so we ended up buying that place and running it. When it became available, we changed the name to Whistle Stop Yogurt. It has a good business which really made this place possible.
“I was not really a railroad fan when we started, but when we found out that the original depot was right in front of this place, that became our theme. We rounded up old pictures from the El Dorado County Historical Museum, first to find out the history of a large a hole in the ground, which the City needed identified before we could continue. It turned out from a picture to be a well, and not an old mine shaft. Then we found several more pictures from the 1880s when the railroad first reached Placerville.
“To make the place look authentic, we went looking for old railroad signals and equipment. We found the semaphore in Utah and on the way obtained the ladder for the pole from a Southern Pacific wrecking crew. We even rounded up a couple of old Railway Express wagons which we have outside.”
The Placerville Coffee Depot serves coffee, coffee drinks, chai tea, soda, baked goodies and more. They have regular and sugar-free syrups and use premium Vaneli’s handcrafted coffee and Ghiradelli chocolate in the products. The Mosbacher’s plan on adding, in the future, more breakfast items and possibly lunch and afternoon treats. It has a commercial kitchen so they also plan on baking more kinds of pastries soon.
“My niece and a young lady who applied for work are both experienced baristas,” added Mosbacher. “They were very valuable in helping us develop our recipes and our training program and getting us open in early December.”
Placerville Coffee Depot is open from 5 a.m. until 9 p.m., Monday through Friday and from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday and can be reached at 530-295-3920.
Friday, Jan. 13, there will be an official grand opening from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Customers can get a free small hot chocolate or hot mocha from 9 until 11 a.m. and enjoy live music from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. The ribbon cutting is at noon. Stop by if you can.