Fig Trees interior is filled with local artists work and lamp light.
Fig Tree’s interior is filled with local artist’s work and lamp light.
Ryan Kim

The Fig Tree: Downtown Roseville’s hidden gem

   This quaint coffee shop may seem like a quick stop on one’s stroll through downtown Roseville, but The Fig Tree is more than a coffee shop – it’s a hub of community, music and support, brewed through a mutual appreciation of authentic coffee shop culture.

   “My wife and I decided that we would open The Fig Tree as a way to be a blessing to this community here in Roseville,” Joshua Lickter, founder of The Fig Tree said, “And we always thought it’d be a great location for a coffee shop that really promoted art and music.”

   The Fig Tree, aside from being a highly-rated coffee shop, has established itself as a community center focused on the support of those within it.

   “There are people who I’ve talked to who said The Fig Tree saved their life. We live in an era where people are very much aware of mental illness, depression and all kinds of social anxieties and fears. People have told me they come to The Fig Tree and it helps them be able to deal with that and get out in public again. Musicians especially, young creative people tend to sometimes have a particular burden with various mental difficulties.”

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   Lickter, previously a music promoter and manager, understands the various trials and tribulations of young artists trying to get their start.

    “I’m not looking for perfection in our musicians. We’ve had musicians play here who were just terrified, standing in front of a crowd, and then after two or three times, it’s like second nature to them. I love seeing that kind of growth in musicians.”

Photo by Ryan Kim


   Over the past seven years, Lickter’s goal in maintaining The Fig Tree has remained constant – to give artists a place to perform and develop their skills.

   “I want The Fig Tree to be a place where people who are uncomfortable in front of people can learn how to play in front of people.” Lickter said, “ I love seeing that kind of growth in musicians.”

   With this goal in mind, The Fig Tree also hosts Open Mic Night on Saturday nights, an opportunity for young and often unknown artists to try and garner a following.

   “When we see that they are showing good performance skills and are being successful in their music, we’ll often reach out to them and try to plan nights where they’re playing by themselves, like their own sets throughout the rest of the week,” Lead Assistant Manger/Barista Becca Brown said.

   Managing a small business in Downtown Roseville comes with no shortage of obstacles, but Lickter and his staff have stayed resilient since The Fig Tree was first conceived by Lickter.

   “It ended up taking us about three years to get everything built to the point where we were operational, and it was built almost entirely by volunteers from my church and other people in the community that really wanted to see a coffee, art and music lounge here in downtown Roseville,” Lickter said.

The cozy kitchen inside of the Fig Tree. (Ryan Kim)

   They were even able to stay afloat when their building lease couldn’t be renewed and they had to relocate across the street.

   “A year and a half ago, we lost the lease at our old location…but fortunately, the spot right across the street opened up so we were able to keep all of our customers,” Lickter said, “The great thing is [the new location] has a kitchen as well, so we’ve been able to bake pastries in house and we have a whole really exciting food assortment of sweets and meats.”

   Since its reopening, the Fig Tree’s music scene has also continued to expand.

   “Within the first year we started having music one night a week and then eventually two and then within a year we were having music almost every single night,” Lickter said.

  Among these new artists after the reopening was Chris Gai, former Granite Bay High School student, and the band he is a part of, Longboy , a local indie group from the greater Sacramento area.

  This charming space, littered with bookshelves and couches, posed a unique challenge for Gai and the band.

   “It was a great experience, but it can be more scary to perform at a coffee shop than a larger venue because you connect more with the audience. It’s a double edged sword because you can get a better feel for what the audience is feeling.”

   Lickter and The Fig Tree staff have worked hard to establish their shop as an environment that supports customers and artists, beyond being just a venue or a coffee shop.

“The Fig Tree [has] established a culture where people can come here and…get support and encouragement from others. The Fig Tree is an extension of our own community. When people come here, we want them to feel like they’re coming into our home, and for some people that’s a life saving thing.”

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About the Contributor
Ryan Kim
Ryan Kim, Editor
Ryan is a senior and Entertainment Editor. This is his third year on the Gazette staff.

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