OGDEN — Tucked in south of 24th Street on Kiesel Avenue is the most chill little coffee shop in town. You might have missed it because it’s “in the alley,” as Black Lotus manager Paige Berhow explains.
She’s referring to the length of Kiesel behind the Egyptian, where you access the hotel and conference center parking. But don’t park there if you’re heading to Black Lotus. If you can’t find street parking, head over to the Junction parking structure — it’s a short walk to the shop from there.
This little spot of zen has been open since February 2018. It’s Jessie Jean’s owners Anna and Ron Davidson’s first foray in downtown Ogden. You probably recognize the Black Lotus logo because the coffee is the same in both locations — it’s all roasted locally.
You’ll find some of the tasty coffee concoctions at Black Lotus that Jessie Jean’s carries. If you go on the right day, the magical fairy barista Emery Young will whip up your order. She’s fantastic at sussing out what you’ll enjoy if you’re unsure what to choose.
Another similarity between the two spots is the delectable pastries, all made in-house. Black Lotus specializes in peanut butter bars (which frequently sell out) and other great coffee pairings like muffins, cake and cinnamon rolls.
Berhow reveals, “I have no idea what I’m going to make until I get here.” She tries to make seasonal selections. “Lately, a lot of lemon because it’s spring and everybody likes the lighter flavors,” she explains.
Rounding out the coffee-shop offerings are sandwiches and wraps.
The garden wrap is refreshing and light, while still being filling. The menu bills it as a wrap “loaded with veggies, pepper jack and vinaigrette.” The veggies on Monday, May 13, 2019, included cucumbers, tomato, purple cabbage and banana peppers. The peppers and pepper jack cheese were a perfect dash of heat to go with the veggie cool, and hummus provided a nice nutty finish.
The Lotus is the best-selling sandwich, and deservedly so. It’s a turkey sandwich on ciabatta bread with a mix of cool and hot — spicy hot — fixings. Guacamole and cucumber keep your mouth cool while habanero jelly heats it up.
The habanero jelly comes from O-Town Kitchen, one of the local collaborations Berhow has going. Keep an eye out for more local alliances in the future.
In the summer, Berhow buys produce from the farmers market and brings in produce from her garden, including tomatoes and cucumbers. “Last year, I brought in homegrown tomatoes from July through about October,” she said.
Further embracing the local vibe, Berhow says, “I’m super picky about who I let work here. Everyone who works here has to have the same mindset — we know customer names, we engage with people. We are all engaged with the Ogden community so we can answer tourist questions. We love the city.”
Black Lotus also has a pay-it-forward program. You can donate funds to provide a cup of coffee and a bite to eat for those in need.
“I had a girl come in who was down on her luck,” Berhow said. “She asked if I could spare a cup of coffee. I asked when she ate last — she said it’d been two days.”
Berhow gave her a sandwich with chips and coffee through pay-it-forward.
“There’s no judgment here,” Berhow declared. “Everyone gets treated the same.”
Many patrons run in and grab their coffee and food and go — expedited by online ordering. But there are also girlfriend meet-ups and first dates, according to Berhow. The limited seating inside means a quiet environment that is perfect for chatting. Watch for a couple of outside tables now that the weather has warmed up.
Berhow accepts special orders. With 24-hour advance notice, you can pick up a half sheet of peanut butter bars for a meeting, sugar cookie bars for a birthday, or any other delicious delight that fits your event.
Black Lotus also supports local artists for the First Friday Art Stroll. Berhow says participating in the monthly event is a chance to feature artists who aren’t going to get picked up by galleries.
“It helps us give young artists an opportunity to show their art and learn to talk with people,” Berhow said.
What are you waiting for? Insert some tranquility in your day — and get a little caffeine buzz, too.