Hidden among charming historic homes and only a half-mile north of bustling Marietta Square, Katie and Micah Pfister (owners of Marietta’s The Butcher The Baker and WR Social House) recently opened a walk-up coffee shop, Sessions Stand, on the corner of Campbell Hill and Sessions streets. Although it’s small, the shop exudes character. A crisp white building accented by aqua and navy blue hues, Sessions has a European feel, with four cafe windows along the front that open to the inside. A border of flowers in planters surrounds the outdoor patio, which is outfitted with brass tables and string lights.
The couple immediately set their sights on the location when they moved just a few houses down from it five years ago. “When we bought our house, I started writing the owner [of the building] letters trying to get him to sell it to me because it wasn’t listed for sale. He was finally up for selling it, and we got it,” explains Katie.
The decision to open the stand was twofold; it gave Katie extra space to bake bread and desserts for their other restaurants, and it gave their neighborhood a coffee shop they could walk to. “The neighborhood has been really excited. We put all this time and effort into this building thinking [a coffee shop] was [a needed resource], but I don’t think we realized until we opened how much it was needed,” Katie says.
Katie makes her pastries from scratch every day. While savory quiches, muffins, and chocolate croissants rotate on and off the menu, the shop’s standbys are fruit danishes and whole wheat croissants. Danish fillings vary depending on what’s in season—currently, the buttery dough is filled with a slightly tart cream that balances out fresh sweet strawberries and an apricot glaze. The croissants are made with spent grain that Reformation Brewery presses out of their beer during the brewing process. Katie coats the spent grain onto the dough so that it’s layered like butter, giving the croissants a nutty flavor. Breakfast goers seeking something heartier can munch on avocado toast and overnight oats. Sessions serves coffee and espresso drinks roasted by Smyrna-based Rev Coffee, as well as strawberry limeade and frozen hot chocolate slushies.
Visitors can also buy bouquets arranged by local floral company Dianthus & Co. Florist Megan Dunlap sources flowers like peonies and ranunculus locally when possible. The flowers have been a surprising hit at the stand, selling out almost every day. In the summer, there will also be fresh produce on sale from local growers like Tucker Farms and Straight From the Backyard Farm.
The Pfisters have taken an “if you build it, they will come” approach to operating Sessions Stand. “We don’t have a website. People joke that we’re like a speakeasy coffee shop, that we’re kind of this secret thing,” Katie says. (They do, however, have an Instagram account.)
Sessions Stand is open Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; and Saturday through Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Coffee prices range from $2.15 to $4.75 and pastries start at $4.00.