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Meet Norma Odegard of Siphon Coffee in Montrose District

Today we’d like to introduce you to Norma Odegard.

Norma, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
The business was hatched in the wake of great roasters and coffee shops popping up in Houston. We felt that there were enough high quality roasters to support what we define as a “roaster agnostic” coffee shop. The local coffee shop community is strong and there is a lot of brotherhood and soul in the space. We support local vendors for our food and beverage program. Local specialty coffee roasters such as Amaya, Boomtown, and Xela support our strong coffee program providing the ability to serve some of the best coffee in Houston.

What we wanted to do different was not only have an elevated coffee program where we weren’t tied to one roaster, but to fuse a meaningful food program offering high quality options. Siphon has a scratch kitchen with fresh pastries and food, made in house daily sourced from the best local providers. House made seasonal muffins and bread, empanadas with house made chimichurri, and an array of breakfast and lunch signature creations. Additionally, we take our breakfast tacos seriously and have an expanded breakfast offering. We craft and build Paninis inspired with locally sourced bread and ingredients.

We felt a coffee shop that fused both locally roasted hand crafted coffee and great bites would be a great addition to the growing coffee and culinary options in the Montrose District.

She came on board in August and has really been a value add! Norma Jean Odegard, a Seattle native and industry veteran, recently relocated to Houston with family. Over a decade of experience in the specialty coffee industry and managing high volume cafes in Seattle, Siphon was a perfect fit. “Montrose is a wonderful neighborhood and Siphon is truly a gem of this town. I was drawn to Siphon from the first visit. The staff is passionate about coffee, eager to share their knowledge and close like a family, which made me feel accepted right away”. Coming in as a management role, the original staff is still here. Siphon had a strong foundation which has provided the ability to develop and grow.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
We were very fortunate we were accepted by the surrounding neighborhoods. With their support we were able to come out of the gate roaring. Top line was never an issue which was really helpful because it allowed us to take our time and think through the things we could do better both operationally. We continue to iron out operational kinks and are always striving to create an approachable environment where folks can come in and learn more about coffee and its different extraction methods. To that end, incorporating the Siphon method was part of the equation that required a lot of knowledge and we made sure our staff was up to speed so they could convey the process in a manner that was fun and easy to understand. We try to educate our staff as much as possible so they can be a resource to a customer base that is engaged and passionate about what the drink and snack on.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Siphon Coffee story. Tell us more about the business.
We are fast casual food option with cozy ambiance in dining experience. Relaxing patio with local artist mural to create unique. . We do a great job with the Siphon brewing method as it is a center piece of our front of house operation. We also take our espresso base drinks seriously and have staff actively participating in events at other coffee shops… competing in espresso drink competitions commonly referred to as Spro Downs. Our team makes it a point to have fun and does a great job pulling fun off! Siph-FUN is what we call ourselves.

We believe that having great relationships with other shops helps make Siphon stronger and up there with other notable shops nationally. I would add that learning from others and constantly perfecting our craft sets us apart from others as well. At Siphon we are always looking to do better. In a sense we feel that Siphon is a living breathing organism that will continue to change and grow to serve our customers.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Luck played a huge role! Our location couldn’t be better. At first we were a bit nervous, but once we started operations we quickly realized we were in the nestled in a great spot! I don’t think we could have executed as we did out of the gate if it wasn’t for the location. The Montrose District is simply a great neighborhood to do business!

Being a neighborhood café, we are positioned to support our local community in a positive and impactful way. Through community events, such as the latte art throw down this evening, and support for other organizations events through donations of coffee or social media support. Offering a local meeting place for students, young professionals, business meetings and social gatherings.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 701 West Alabama
    Houston, TX 77007
  • Website: www.siphoncoffeehouston.com
  • Phone: 281-974-4426
  • Email: info@siphoncoffeehouston.com

Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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