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Postscript is a Fresh Addition to San Francisco’s Coffee Scene

Postscript Coffee San Francisco bar

At the Postscript coffee bar in downtown San Francisco. All images courtesy of Postscript.

A new cafe, specialty food market and juice bar called Postscript is adding to a previously sleepy corner of the Financial District of San Francisco. The new spot notably includes an in-house roasting operation led by Director of Coffee John Laird, formerly of AKA Coffee.

A 15-kilo Loring roaster anchors the roasting area, which takes up roughly a quarter of the approximately 3,000-square-foot Postscript space. Another quarter of high-ceilinged location is dedicated to the market, which offers a carefully curated selection fresh and packaged foods and drinks, including wine, beer, picnic items and charcuterie. Postscript’s white coffee bags also line the shop’s white oak shelves.

Postscript Coffee San Francisco inside

Bulk beans make their way to the shop’s Mahlkönig E80 grind-by-weight grinders, Puqpress auto-tampers and a three-group Modbar espresso system.

“It’s a real fluid setup that allows us to communicate super freely with our customers,” Laird recently told Daily Coffee News. “It’s a fun space to be in, for sure.”

On the ground floor of the stately Montgomery Building in downtown San Francisco, Postscript is also working with a full commercial kitchen and juicery for cold-pressed juices, fresh grain bowls, sandwiches, salads and other relatively healthy fare.

Postscript Coffee San Francisco kitchen

Funding for the Postscript venture came from building-mate Artis Ventures and its founder Stuart Peterson, who helped lead the project over three years from first designs to opening day. The shop’s design focuses on a combination of mid-century modern and Scandinavian influences while offering a clean and functional space for guests, baristas and roasters alike. 

“The staff loves it; they love working there,” Laird told DCN. “I’ve had enough coffee bars that I’ve worked in and around where there’s that one thing that’s weird and everybody has to deal with it, all day every day, and after a while it gets really annoying. I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to go from A to Z on this one, and try to eliminate all of those little things.”

Postscript Coffee San Francisco espresso

Laird, whose career in coffee has included leadership roles at Verve Coffee, Supersonic Coffee and, shut down his own company, AKA Coffee, last year. Laird said that the pandemic took a toll on the family business, and it was time to turn the metaphorical page.

His daughter, lead roaster and Certified Q Grader, Rosie Laird, had already decided to pursue teaching high school science. His business partner and wife, Björg Brend Laird, found more than enough to do in keeping up with their then-toddler, Bjorn.

Postscript Coffee San Francisco roaster

“It was really actually the best thing for us. It wasn’t a tragic, emotional thing,” Laird said of sunsetting the AKA brand. “And for me, jumping onto a team with great resources and great talent, it was a great transition for all of us involved. So many people have been like ‘Oh, I’m so sorry it happened.’ Nah; it was awesome.”

At Postscript, Laird continues to build upon long-standing relationships with coffee producers and importers such as Red Fox Coffee Merchants and Royal Coffee for green coffees. The brand launched with three staple year-round blends, while single-origin coffees are rotated at a swift clip, every couple of weeks.

Postscript Coffee San Francisco interior

“One of the things that roasting on a Loring gives me the opportunity and the potential to do is to control the development through the mid part of the roast — so most of my roasts may present as light roast, but they’re a very nicely developed light roast,” said Laird. “I’m able to build some real good body into the front end of the roast and the drying phase. I like building a nice platform for all of those delicious florals and different types of acidity that layer on top — no one-dimensional coffees on our bar, at all.”

Additional Postscript cafe/market locations are under consideration as the company steadies its footing in FiDi. Coffee subscriptions and a burgeoning wholesale roasting business also present potential paths forward for the coffee program, but they will likely be part of a more well-founded food, beverage and retail business. 

Postscript Coffee San Francisco Financial district

“I’ve watched so many people who were undercapitalized, who haven’t gotten the model right,” said Laird. “They haven’t filled the day-parts, they haven’t gotten their profitability into the right space and they don’t succeed. We’re really trying to find that sweet spot for an economic model that can allow us to be successful as we expand out of our Jackson Square neighborhood in San Francisco.”

Postscript is located at 499 Jackson St, Ground Floor, in San Francisco. Tell DCN’s editors about your new coffee shop or roastery here