A new trend is brewing on Main Street in Waxahachie.
Chris Parvin, the owner of White Rhino Coffee, is no stranger to Waxahachie after spending his college career at the Southwestern Assemblies of God University. He recalled there practically only being a Braums in town and how college students would have benefited from a social, yet, quaint coffee shop.
“With White Rhino, our community values are people and relationships,” Parvin compared. “That’s the number one thing we wanted. We wanted to be a place where a customer can get a great meal or awesome coffee and sit down with a person and have an interaction.”
The coffee shop will not stand out to most since it tucked away at 414 W. Main St. in a vintage home dating back to 1895. The historical presence meshed the modern shop in with the Gingerbread Capital.
For 14 months they focused on construction. Parvin wanted to incorporate the commercial purpose while maintaining the true structure of the home to preserve the history.
“It’s got a lot of the original shiplap on the walls, and we did that on purpose because it was really the bones of the house. We used a local contractor, Colonial Restoration group, he’s a local guy, and he did a fantastic job,” Parvin explained.
Colonial Restoration was able to salvage most of the home and modernize it so the building would hopefully be around for another 160 years. Parvin pointed out the stained glass in the central seating area is original.
The signature color of White Rhino — teal — can be spotted throughout the house. Steel rhino heads greet guests at each gated entrance as well.
Parvin needed to revolutionize the house to be able to run a restaurant and coffee shop but also be able to hold a lot of people.
“This is not just a craft coffee shop. We are a restaurant. We have a full kitchen. Food is southern bistro style — great all-day breakfast, great lunch, great snacks, awesome coffee — some of the best craft coffee I’ve ever had,” Parvin elaborated.
CRAFT COFFEE AND TREATS
White Rhino offers a variety of signature espresso drinks — hot or iced — as well as teas. The Sebastian is made with caramel, Irish cream, and white chocolate. It is the go-to for a lot of first-timers.
“Drip coffee is amazing, we have some of the best you’ve ever had. We have four varietals of that. I also love the basic latte. We use a medium roast espresso and full-fat milk,” Parvin explained.
Other than the nine signature drinks, they also serve lattes, cappuccinos, macchiato, drip coffee and an extensive list of premium teas.
“We serve The Art of Tea, a Los Angeles brand. They make loose leaf teas that are the best teas that you’ll find anywhere. They are good by themselves or sweetened. We have awesome cold-brew coffee,” Parvin elaborated.
The drink menu is the same as the Oaks Church and Cedar Hill location. But, the food menu is different. Since the Waxahachie spot has a full kitchen, the list is not as limited. White Rhino also sells Emporium Pies from Dallas, which has a signature location is in Bishop Arts.
“It’s a small bakery with a huge following, chocolate pies, lemon cream pies. They are awesome, fantastic,” Parvin praised.
As White Rhino brand strives for exquisite products, everything from their biscuits and jam to syrups is made in-house. Down the road, they are looking to purchase local produce instead of having it shipped in. Parvin even suggested framing himself.
Parvin said the idea is to have craft coffee and tea and farm-to-table food.
He explained the difference in quality from White Rhino craft coffee to the retail coffee locations.
“The first thing you get is a coffee bean that’s over-roasted, burnt a little bit. Part of the reason they do that is because they get a longer shelf life out of it. If you drink a cup of drip coffee somewhere else, it’s acidic.” He added, “Our coffee is locally roasted within about 20 minutes from here, so you’re going to find a product that’s fresher and less acidic, it’s got a smoother finish to it. The coffee itself is higher quality, but everything we do is geared toward quality,” he emphasized.
Parvin also claims White Rhino baristas are experts.
The staff cannot make a cup of coffee until a month after being hired. The team undergoes extensive training to learn where the coffee originates from and flavor profiles of the coffee and tea. So any customer with questions will receive an expert answer.
ROOM FOR EVERYONE
The main floor is the central seating area while the second floor is quieter with The Library Room and The Community Room.
On the main floor is public seating in the open areas as well as the modern designed living room. This room is equipped with a fireplace and over the mantle is a mirror from a designer in Great Britain by Timothy Ouliton. When the mirror is lit up, it gives a psychedelic appearance.
The second floor has two main rooms as well, The Library Room, which seats about 20 people and the Community Room that can seat more than 30.
“The idea around the library is that it’s a quiet study room, so it’s got lightning fast WiFi in it, you can take your food and drinks up there, you have tables with connectivity and internet,” Parvin explained.
Also, if a guest has more of an introverted personality and does not want to sit at a community table with 13 strangers, but still wants to be around people, The Library Room is the perfect fit.
The Community Room is versatile with mobile furniture and purposes. It can be used for book clubs, a baby shower or even a Rotary Club meeting. The tables and chairs are also portable, which can give more of a boardroom or lecture feel.
The Meeting Room is also equipped with a microphone and sound system installed. Even though there is no projector, a flat panel television on wheels is perfect for presentations.
“We have these cool plugs in the tables. So, if you have a laptop and you want to broadcast what’s on your laptop to the TV, plug it into the table, and it plugs into the TV. There’s a lot of cool connectivity.”
The room can be reserved for a small fee and comes with a food and beverage credit.
They have a dumbwaiter to elevate food from the kitchen to the second floor, which makes catering and serving in The Meeting room simple.
“We really want to be a one-stop shop for people who need a space to meet," Parvin emphasized.
There are stages inside and on the patio with lighting and sound. They plan to have music events and poetry readings.
Coffee fanatics can look forward to gospel brunches with live music and a fixed menu one Sunday out of the month. Also, the coffee house will host classes for those interested in learning more about how to create a latte to perfection.
The grand opening is Saturday, May 26. Also, a business mixer is scheduled for Tuesday, May 29 from 5:30 — 7:30 p.m. Parking can be found behind the house on Water Street.
Related article: White Rhino Coffee beginning process of opening a Waxahachie location
Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450
**The printed version of this article stated the home was built in 1865, instead of 1895.