Ascension began in December 2012, after a year spent researching and developing the concept: an Australian style coffee shop with simple European-café-type food and a laid-back, familiar atmosphere. Russell Hayward, experienced restaurateur, lifetime espresso coffee lover, and founder of Ascension, developed this concept with the simple goal of elevating the everyday American café experience.
Russell grew up in Sydney, Australia in an era before technology zapped us of human interaction. Mealtime meant sitting around a big table with family, friends, fresh food, bantering, debating, and of course, throwing in lashings of sarcastic Australian humour (sic). In Australia, coffee was also more than consumable – it was an art, and it was a culture.
Thirty years, careers in advertising, design and rock ‘n roll, 2 nationalities, and thousands of espressos later, Russell moved to Dallas, TX to start a fourth career and the one that took him back to his childhood dreams- the restaurant business. After developing and operating restaurants, bars, and nightclubs for a decade, he wanted to try his hand in a new culinary genre. He wanted to create something he had struggled to find in Dallas, and honestly in the U.S. up until that point. A GREAT cup of coffee, in a warm, conversation filled environment.
Out of that desire came Ascension. After many visits to cafes, coffee shops, and wine bars around the world, we developed a menu with simple ingredients and innovative flavors. We had a store design that dissolved the iconic yet frustrating coffee shop line. We had passionate, welcoming servers and baristas. And that’s where you came in. We now have guests, regulars, and ultimately friends. We are so thankful that Dallas accepted Ascension.
Ascension is committed to care and development:
of our people, our coffee and culinary products, our Dallas community, and the international regions we partner with and invest in.
We teach coffee professionals, hobbyists, and general fans in our cafes with weekly wine tastings and special events. Additionally, our SCAA accredited training lab hosts a multi-step barista certification, open-invitation coffee cuppings, and personalized coaching. We are committed to enabling our people, and all those interested, in the development of their full potential or desire in the wonderful world of Coffee.
We create daily almost every item in Ascension. Its our own way of consistently ensuring the highest standards in quality and flavor. We try to continually innovate with new food menu items, new coffees, new brewing, and coffee roasting methods. We search the country for innovative, exciting food and beverages from start up entrepreneurs we can present to our patrons while introducing our vendors to people we hope will become their life long customers. Our fully equipped test kitchen and culinary staff led by Chef Randy Morgan are a testament to our commitment to food quality and creativity.
We are committed to assisting in building the communities we work within. Building relationships with our customers in a space that allows them to build relationships with each other, where people gather, discover, and share – a meal, a passion, a talent – over lunch or other special event.
We are investing in humanitarian projects in coffee-producing regions, with an emphasis on countries recovering from crisis. We use our agricultural knowledge, inherent business travel, and profits from coffee sales to holistically restore communities in otherwise inaccessible corners of the world. We are dedicated to assisting farmers in improving coffee quality and operating more efficiently. We are dedicated to helping our farmers’ communities through multi layered programs covering many areas, including access to clean water, medical support, dental training, youth education, and entrepreneurial development.