Coffee and Community at Mammoth Coffee Roasting Company
Jun 29, 2023
Mammoth Lakes Tourism food writer Lauren MacLeod reviews the fresh and favorite restaurants of the Eastern Sierra – and tells the stories behind them. If you have ideas for local restaurants she should cover, please let us know!
Located in the heart of town, Mammoth Coffee Roasting Company is known for its locally-roasted coffee, generously-sized donuts, and innovative Apres Ski menu. What truly sets it apart from other cafes goes much deeper. From hosting LGBTQ+ meetups to donating to local organizations, owners Tracie and Steve Shatkin have molded Mammoth Coffee Roasting Co into more than just a place to caffeinate – it’s a community hub.
In 2015, Steve had a “wild hair” and bought a coffee roaster, to which his business partner and wife Tracie responded, “Of course you did.” The pair have a knack for finding creative new endeavors.
Because of Steve’s background in chemistry and environmental science, he had always been intrigued by the science of coffee roasting. The couple’s first foray into cafe life was a small, speakeasy-style room near Minaret Cinemas. While they offered plenty of coffee-related seminars and swag, they couldn’t yet sell a brew.
Fast forward to the middle of the pandemic: the Shatkins received a long-awaited call. That magic space on the corner of Meridian and Old Mammoth Road had finally come available.
Community care is at the core of Mammoth Coffee Roasting Co’s ethos. Written on their walls are “Your Day Just Got Better” and “Helping Humanity One Roast At A Time,” just to remind every customer and employee.
Tracie and Steve invest not only in bringing new and delicious dishes to the cafe, but also in the community itself. A portion of the cafe’s proceeds is donated to its primary charity, Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra, and the owners serve on the Mono Arts Council board.
There are no plans to slow down either; the couple dreams of opening a community center focused on supporting local young adults: “There are not as many services for young adults in Mammoth as in other areas. We are working with professional therapists who are ready to help,” Steve explains.
The Shatkins’ devotion to mental health comes from their own family’s struggles with addiction.
“We’ve run the gambit of parenting experiences,” Steve recalls. “We know how much it means to say ‘good job, we’re proud of you,’ to have someone to support you. We want everyone to feel that.”
According to Steve, the first thing new customers say when they walk in is, “Oh wow, look at those donuts!” The Shatkins definitely don’t skimp on their pastries. The “Mammoth Donut” is meant to be shared with 4-5 people, since it’s about the size of your head.
Though donuts take the cake as the most popular food item, Tracie and Steve provide a variety of pastry options – some gluten-free, grain-free, and vegan to accommodate any dietary restrictions.
For a more substantial breakfast, choose a breakfast burrito, tacos, or even pizza. Visiting after a day on the hill? Check out the Apres Ski menu for a pulled pork sandwich, pizzas, and a tater tot waffle – a savory waffle cousin topped with sour cream and chives.
No Apres Ski is complete without a beverage in hand. Choose from local beers on tap, like Mammoth Brewing and Shelter, or go for the signature “Mammosa,” a 12-ounce pour of prosecco and orange juice topped with grenadine. If alcohol isn’t your thing, choose from an assortment of signature coffee drinks, like a sweet and cozy cafe con leche or classic cappuccino. All coffee beverages are made from house-roasted beans.
While Mammoth Coffee Roasting Co is a hub for breakfast and apres ski, the Shatkins are excited to unveil the new Supper Club.
“It will be a refined yet rusting dinner club… we’re talking about red velvet curtains on the windows, fine linen on the table, and filet mignon. We’re trying to be the first cafe that is a coffee shop by day and refined supper club at night,” says Steve.
Look out for the first event coming up this summer. Dishes may include:
- Butternut squash
- Duck confit with cabernet port reduction sauce
- Filet mignon with black peppercorn sauce
- A red velvet pancake with mascarpone and house made gelato
Visitors can also look forward to homemade gelato starting coming back this summer.
As for Steve: “We will continue to welcome people home to our cafe, whether they’re local or visitors, and make everyone feel at home.”