New roastery goes vegan


Pat Mazzera

You won’t see it announced anywhere, but all of the food served at Timeless Coffee Roasters and Bakery, a new coffee shop located on Piedmont Avenue, is vegan.

“We tried not to label everything as vegan,” says owner Robert Leimpeter, an easygoing, friendly guy you can usually find working hard behind the counter, serving up coffee and treats, arms adorned with beautiful tattoo artwork. “This community has a lot of older people who have lived here for a long time and already have a preconceived idea of what the coffee shops have. We didn’t want to scare anyone off.”

But the treats inside this shop with a streamlined display case and beautiful wood tables do anything but scare off customers. Lines of people, from hip locals to old-school punks, line up daily in ever-increasing numbers, waiting to get coffee and baked goods.

Previous to Timeless, Bay Area native Leimpeter worked at Peet’s Coffee & Tea for many years. He moved on to Sightglass Roastery in San Francisco with the single-eyed goal of opening his own shop in Oakland. “What I’ve always wanted to do was have an all vegan in-house bakery, roastery, and coffee shop,” he says.

 The idea came to fruition when Violett Slocum, his wife’s kickboxing sparring partner and a veteran baker and vegan confectioner, agreed to do the baking for his new venture.

“She would always bring stuff over for the holidays, presents, birthdays and stuff. I was so blown away with her vegan baking that I was like, ‘I’m going to try and steal her away.’ ” And steal her away he did.

 Cupcakes, vegan Twinkies, and chocolate-dipped strawberries fill the display case. A weekly Sunday brunch—vegan biscuits and gravy, vegan grilled cheese, and vegan chicken wings—is photographed and announced on the shop’s Facebook page, a page definitely worth “liking.”  

Timeless Coffee Roasters and Bakery,  4252 Piedmont Ave., Oakland, 510-985-1360, www.timelesscoffeeroasters.com

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