Self-described ‘diner hound’ Shoreline Coffee Shop Owner, Ged Robertson prides his ‘local place’ at Tam Junction, in gorgeous Mill Valley, CA, as a very cool “community place,” with a cool menu, and fresh eggs from down the street.
“My Grandpa was a farmer in Virginia. That’s the way it was. You’d just buy from the farmer. It’s a no-brainer especially for a place like Shoreline. If you can use farm-to-table in a casual environment then people can afford to eat it because you’re not paying for high-end service and aesthetic etc., which is what gets things pricey.”
“The biggest challenge for any restaurant is to make sure you have the best product on the plate. Then when you start getting busy, you need a lot more of it. This is what Ahi Tuna from Ports Seafood is to Shoreline. A great reliable product.
Port Seafood Tuna is an easy product to work with because it is individually packaged so we don’t have extra product sitting around for a long time. It’s a fresh product thats been frozen so we can access it really easily without it sitting in a tub of tuna fish.
Ports Seafood is an exceptional product. When you’re serving 350 people a day, you need consistency, you need reliability. Ports Seafood is always fresh and always good.”
Ged, who’s currently working on getting his new restaurant Watershed (his fifth venue in eleven years inclusive of Molina, Small Shed Flatbread and Sweet Water Cafe) ready to open in 2018, is implicitly committed to his staff, (many of whom have been working at Shoreline for 18-36 years).
“I see my restaurants like visions, there is no road that goes there and you don’t know where the roads are. You just start driving towards the mountain and be prepared to take a detour and another one and another one. You just have faith that’s its going to happen.”
Self prescribed as having ADD, Robertson reasons that the key to life boils down to seven words: “If you do good, you feel good.” This was clear with the bustling happy customers that packed out Shoreline the Wednesday morning I visited Ged.
Fortunately, post interview and shoot, I was the benefactor of Shoreline’s Tuna Melt and/or Tostada with Ports Seafood Ahi Tuna salad, cheddar costra, pickles, avocado & lime (see image). Seriously, addictive delicious.
Shoreline, originally opened in 1964, still resembles a charming Winnebago and boasts a handful of longtime devoted employees, but it’s the reliably stellar food that keeps it’s people (and the tourists on the way to Muir Woods), coming back again and again through generations.
The 411: Shoreline Coffee Shop is at 221 Shoreline Highway in Tam Junction (behind Walgreens), (415) 388-9085. It is open from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays; 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekends.