Situated in the foothills of Northwest Georgia, lays the city of Rome. It’s home to 35,000+ people, Berry College, a strong small business scene downtown, and one of the best coffee shops we’ve been to into the state, Swift & Finch coffeeshop.
Swift & Finch is situated in the heart of downtown where they have been carving out a little community of avid fans for the last five years. Their customers are an eclectic mix of professionals, freelancers, and students from nearby Berry College, Shorter University, Georgia Highlands College, and Georgia Northwestern Technical College. When we stopped by in the early afternoon, the shop was definitely full of the college crowd collaborating on school work and having meetings for their organizations.
The vibe on the afternoon we were there was definitely warm and vibrant despite it being a rainy and overcast afternoon. You know how some coffee shops can feel pretentious, or even worse, super stale and sterile? Swift & Finch was neither. There was a nice energy present with a great mix of conversation and clicking keyboards. Even better for music snobs like myself, the background music wasn’t the boring stereotypical singer/songwriter folk stuff that you hear in every coffeeshop but was all over the place and hit a few genres while nicely padding the background. I love low key music but I can only listen to so many Ray Lamontagne/Nora Jones Pandora playlists in coffee shops before it all starts to sound the same.
All this to say is that the space felt nice and inviting and was neither too quiet or too rowdy. I’m sure the mood changes throughout the day as the different types of customers cycle through but at 2:00 in the afternoon, it was damn near perfect.
Swift & Finch has all the main coffeehouse staples. Espressos, cappuccinos, and iced coffee but what sets them apart is their in-house roasting. They have a small batch roasting machine that allows them to keep their coffee fresh and always changing by roasting regularly right in the main room amongst their customers. This regular small batch roasting allows them to only roast what they need and what they want to drink giving them a ton of flexibility and creativity in what they offer to their customers. You can have one drink one week and a completely different one the next. It just depends on what they have set up to roast.
The bonus from them keeping the roaster humming regularly is that the shop is usually filled with not only the smells of all the drinks that are going out, but the aromatics of the tumbling beans and the oils that get released when they crack. Some people aren’t huge fans of roasting beans. I personally like the smell of them as much as I like drinking the actual cup of coffee.
The staff was friendly and knew what they were doing. Reading reviews online from the regulars, you definitely get the sense that their customers are loyal not just to the shop or the coffee, but the staff. There was even an art project created by one of the staff members featuring the rest of the staff on display.
There is the main big room with the counter and the roaster and the majority of the seating, but they also had two or three little side rooms which groups could reserve or use for their meetings giving them a little more privacy and quiet.
We’ve been following Swift & Finch on Instagram since we stumbled across them on our trip to Rome and since our visit they’ve added a new little fun project to the mix that makes us love them even more. They traveled to France and bought a 1971 Citroen which they are now converting into a portable coffee shop for events around Rome. Jealous does not even begin to describe how we feel about this amazing vehicle. We have enjoyed following from afar and watching them on Instagram as they renovate and build this thing out.
For our first visit to Swift & Finch, we could not have been happier. From the energy in the building to the drinks to the smells to the noise, it was what every good coffee shop should be, a cultural hub for an eclectic group of people who make up their community. We loved it when we went and we can’t wait to go back!