NEW DETAILS: Reza’s Downtown chooses 2nd Street Market vendor to make its pastries

Azra’s owner ‘cares as much about the pastries as we do about the coffee,’ Reza’s founder says

The doors of Reza's Downtown, the first retail shop from local coffee roastery Reza's Roast, haven't opened yet, but a few tasty details are trickling out of what its customers will find when the shop does open.

Audria Maki, founder of Reza's Downtown, which will open in late spring or summer at 438 Wayne Ave. in the Oregon District, said she has decided to partner with Azra's Mediterranean Cuisine, which operates at the Second Street Market in downtown Dayton, for its pastries.

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Azra’s owner Azra Kaurin “has been baking in Dayton for 19 years, and we have loved her food for that long,” Maki said. “She is a perfect fit for Reza’s because of the care she puts into her pastries.”

“Since our cafe is so close to where she bakes, she will deliver everything fresh as we need it,” Maki said of Kaurin. “She cares as much about the pastries as we do about the coffee.”

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Maki said Kaurin “understands the flavors and ingredients that we were looking for reminiscent of our Italian and Persian family heritage. We have carefully developed a menu that will compliment the old world style of coffee drinks we will be serving.”

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For her part, Kaurin said she has been working for the last six months on a menu of pastries and desserts for the coffee shop.

“The pastries are quite unique to our area — they're classic European recipes we've passed down in our family for generations,” the Azra’ Mediterranean Cuisine founder said. “We make lovely rolls and strudels at Azra's Mediterranean that are perfect for a proper coffee break.”

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“ There will be Italian, Greek, and Turkish delicate pastries to choose from, as well as Viennese and Bosnian strudels, cream puffs, eclairs and cupcakes,” Kaurin said.

Maki said she is shooting for a June opening for Reza’s Downtown.

***PREVIOUS UPDATE (March 28, 2019)*** 

Reza's Roast will conduct open interviews at its Fairborn Roastery at 611 West Yellow Springs-Fairfield Road in Fairborn from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 31.

Reza’s is looking to hire baristas who will work for the roastery’s first retail shop at 438 Wayne Ave. in the Oregon District, according to founder Audria Maki.

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“We’ll be hiring 10 part- and full-time baristas,” Maki said.

***PREVIOUS UPDATE (Feb. 27, 2019)***

The first retail coffee shop for Reza's Roast, a local roastery that up until now has specialized in wholesale sales of coffees and beans, has absorbed some setbacks to its initial timetable, but is now gearing up to open this spring, according to its founder, Audria Maki.

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The new coffee shop in the works at 438 Wayne Ave. has been watched closely by local coffee enthusiasts, in part because of its visibility on a stretch of the blossoming Wayne Avenue corridor, and in part because it will add to a growing “coffee trail” of sorts in and around downtown Dayton and the Oregon District, South Park and St. Anne’s Hill neighborhoods.

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“Reza’s Downtown” will add to that mix when it opens, which will happen “probably at the end of April or beginning of May,” Maki said in an interview at her Fairborn roastery.

Developing the initial plans, resolving a fire-suppression issue, and the initial demolition/renovations took more time than projected. “We had to take it down to the studs” inside the building, which dates to 1900, Maki said.

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The extra time allowed Maki to fine-tune the coffee and tea menu, which will include a “Golden Latte,” an intriguing blend of steamed macadamia-nut milk, turmeric, pink peppercorns, ginger, allspice, lemongrass and black pepper.

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Reza’s downtown will serve ice cream and a food menu of pastries and savory items, borrowing from her own Italian family heritage and that of her husband, whose family came to the U.S. from Iran more than two decades ago. The final menu is still in the works.

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“It’s not as important what the food is — I’m more concerned with the quality of the ingredients,” Maki said. “I care a lot about what kind of flour the baker uses. What’s the use of having great coffee is the food is not great?”

Maki, who has three young children, said other touches at the new coffee shop will include a special nursing and breast-milk pumping room for young mothers.

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Initially, Reza’s Downtown will employ five baristas and will be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Plans call for those shop hours to expand later in the year, Maki said.

To keep tabs on Reza's Downtown's progress toward opening, follow the Rezasdowntown Instagram page.

***ORIGINAL STORY (March 2018)*** 

After searching for a location for more than two years, Reza's Roast, a Fairborn coffee roastery which specializes in wholesale sales of coffees and beans, is gearing up to open its first retail coffee shop, "Reza's Downtown," in Dayton.

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The new shop is coming to 438 Wayne Ave., according to Audria Maki, founder of Reza's Roast coffee roastery in Fairborn. The location is four blocks from Wholly Grounds, another coffee shop in the works on Wayne Avenue, and in between two existing Wayne Avenue coffee shops: Ghostlight Coffee and Press Coffee Bar.

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A coffee-shop district certainly appears to be brewing along Wayne Avenue, but Maki is confident each can find its niche, including hers.

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“Wayne Avenue is right in the heart of Dayton’s growing food scene and centrally located geographically, so this is perfect for what we were looking for,” Maki said of the site. “We are the fourth coffee shop opening (on Wayne Avenue) … but each is so different in terms of vibe, menu and customer base that it is not really a concern.”

>> RELATED: New coffee shop opens in downtown Dayton (August 2017)

Roasting coffee for wholesale sales will continue to be the primary focus of Reza’s, Maki said. But she added, “We are constantly helping new coffee shop owners and managers get up and running, and they have a lot of questions about how everything works.” She envisions her Reza’s Downtown will serve as a model for her wholesale customers who are just starting out.

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Maki said she has been looking for a space for a coffee cafe for more than two years, but “didn’t want to put a lot of money into fixing up something we didn’t own. When a relative bought the building (at 438 Wayne Ave.), it was the perfect solution.”

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If all goes well, Reza’s Downtown could open as early as this fall. Maki said the new shop will not be open during the evenings, and will also be closed on Sundays. “The focus will be on the quality of our drinks to highlight our Reza’s Roast coffee,” Maki said.

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The food menu is still in its early stages, but will likely include pastries and perhaps toasts. “We will also carry tea, hot chocolate, matcha and coffee-infused slushies,” Maki said.

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To keep tabs on Reza's Downtown's progress toward opening, follow the Rezasdowntown Instagram page.

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