Get to Know: Ascension Coffee

on September 25, 2017 / by Downtown Dallas Inc. / in Blog Posts, Dine and Drink, Things To Do

In today’s world, it is imperative that each and every person stays plugged in. That’s what we have iPhones for, right? We stay plugged in to keep connected with our friends, family, colleagues, future opportunities, current events, news, etc. Our technology is irresistible and it seems with each generation, as their tech-savvy skills increase, their social skills decrease.

That’s why Dallas is blessed to have an establishment like Ascension. By definition, ascension is the act of rising to an important position or a higher level and that is exactly what you see happening in the eatery.


Let’s get the history. Ascension started over a cup of crappy coffee.

Russell Hayward (from Tom Tom Noodle House and Nikita) and Jonn Baudoin (from Driftwood and Sugar Skull) were meeting to discuss upcoming restaurant developments. They met at a local Dallas coffee shop similar to that of a Starbucks.

After waiting separately in line for their cappuccinos, they both realized coffee shops in the area all had one thing in common – a horrible model resulting in terrible service.

After waiting in line, Hayward’s drink never came out and when he went to the front to check on his order, he realized his cappuccino had been sitting there and was now cold. When having to repay for his beverage, he was so livid that he decided to open his own cafe. Eighteen months later, Ascension was born.

Hayward believed the Dallas market was ready and in desperate need for a new, innovative approach to a coffee shop. With nearly two years of planning and traveling around the globe evaluating coffee shops and learning coffee agriculture in Africa led to the opening of Ascension Coffee in the Design District in 2012.  

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Now almost 5 years later, Ascension has drastically expanded. With locations in the Design District, the Crescent, and Thanksgiving Tower, Ascension is loved all over Dallas and soon in cities surrounding the DFW metroplex!

In addition to new locations, Hayward has Ascension Coffee Roastery, Dallas’ first coffee training and cupping lab. The founder is a Licensed Coffee Q Grader, Director of the Cyimbili Coffee Plantation Rwanda, founder of Restore the Bean, and owner of the new coffee shop concept 84 Point Coffee.

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Hayward also has a passion for international development. Ascension invests in humanitarian projects in the coffee-producing regions, with an emphasis on countries recovering from crisis. The company is dedicated to helping their farmers’ communities through multi layered programs covering many areas, including access to clean water, medical support, dental training, youth education, and entrepreneurial development.

After further conversation, both men concluded that community is their main priority for Ascension. When you walk into Ascension, people aren’t playing on their phones or checking up on their Instagram. They are connected by the cup. They are plugged into real life conversation rather than technology. Ascension is the place to go when you need to unwind and retract from outside world distractions.

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Ascension works to make people happy every day and is committed to bettering the communities they work within. The company makes sure their staff is on point so that everyone’s best experience is getting their cup of morning Joe.

“Their best experience should be their daily experience routine.”

Aside from the incredible environment, the food and drinks served at Ascension are a whole other story. You have a 4-star restaurant at a 2-star price. Hayward has developed a menu with simple ingredients and innovative flavors. He develops new items in tandem with Lily Mondale to create the most delicious dishes. Everything in house is made from scratch and baked daily. No preservatives or frozen breakfast sandwiches available.

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When you walk in, the aroma of fresh herbs, spices, and exotic coffee beans will leave your mouth watering. The avocado toast, bacon egg roll, and fresh baked Pane Aria are some local favorites. The owners hire a number of chefs to create a rotating menu and everything is made from scratch, down to the jellies and jams.


Hayward, known as a coffee scientist, explained that his overall goal is to have unique flavor with unleveled quality, and that is just what you will get!

Fill your life with flavor and stop by Ascension for an unsurpassed experience. Whether it be the ricotta hotcakes in the morning, the chipotle chicken penne for lunch, or a slice of warm cinnamon chocolate cake paired with a glass of fine wine, Ascension has something for everyone.

For a chance to win a $100 gift card to Ascension, click here: Ascension’s Downtown Dallas Giveaway and make sure you follow us (@downtown_dallas) and Ascension (@ascensioncoffee) on Instagram! For more information on Ascension, visit

For more information on all things to eat, see, and do Downtown, visit And for a comprehensive list of Downtown events, visit

The Downtown Dallas Ascension location is located at:

1601 Elm Street, #120

Dallas, TX 75202

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