First Avenue Coffee / Spokane, Washington

The sign outside First Avenue Coffee reads ‘Damn Good Coffee’ but it might as well say ‘Damn Good Coffee and Donuts.’ Part of what makes First Avenue Coffee’s house-made donuts so good are seasonal frostings flavored with The Perfect Purée.

As The Perfect Purée gets ready to showcase its products at the 2022 International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) in Las Vegas, First Avenue Coffee is one of many retail bakers optimizing the outstanding flavor and labor-saving efficiency of its line-up.

General Manager Aaron Jordan says making high-quality purées to flavor baking components takes a lot of intensive labor. Alternative products rely on artificial flavors, whose “terrible” taste is evident in the end product. “The ability for us to grab a couple of ounces of The Perfect Purée to mix into our recipes saves insane amounts of time with the added bonus of tasting delicious. It’s simple and easy to reach a desired flavor profile in quick order with no garbage ingredients.” Aaron says. “The super clean flavors do the talking!”

First Avenue Coffee grew out of Spokane’s Roast House Coffee, a specialty coffee roastery founded by Deborah Di Bernardo in 2010 to source earth-friendly coffee and support a sustainable coffee supply chain. First Avenue Coffee opened in 2018 and features 10 different organic coffees, house-made seasonal syrups and in-house bakery items with and without gluten. Savory biscuits, keto donuts and specialty items from local bakers complement the menu.

Aaron says friends in the industry recommended The Perfect Purée when First Avenue was searching for quality flavors to infuse seasonal drinks and bakery items.

“After going through Perfect Purée’s complimentary sample [program], we were hooked and use several of the products with each of our changing seasonal menus,” he says.

Every season, the First Avenue team develops a menu that pairs coffee bar drinks and spirit-free options with baker Chelsi Miller’s creations. Even factoring limited availability of some flavors due to current supply chain shortages, The Perfect Purée’s 40-plus purées, zests, blends and concentrates allow plenty of variety with each menu change. The spring menu featured items with Red Raspberry Puree, Blueberry Puree, Pear Puree, Lemon Zest and Pomegranate Concentrate. This summer, First Avenue used Blackberry Puree—the ‘Cabernet’ of dark berries—in a rich frosting for a chocolate donut, Banana Puree in a frosting on a vanilla donut with caramel drizzle, and Coconut Puree and Yuzu Luxe Sour blend in a frosting for a Coconut Yuzu Green Tea donut. Other flavors used in refreshing concoctions and seasonal syrups are Key Lime Concentrate, Mango Puree and Green Apple Puree.

Photos by Annisa Hale