happy new year all! wishing everyone a successful and profitable new year in 2011!
we are fortunate to be starting a 3rd location at the end of this month, and its high time we join up with a roaster that can offer quality beans, and quality customer service. our newest location will be in lexington, va. the other locations are in north carolina: raleigh, and near southern pines. ideally, we'd like to purchase beans from one roaster in order to supply all 3 locations. and honestly, and embarrasingly true, we originally bought from a large chain type roaster that supplies a national natural foods market...the coffees were okay, the indonesian beans worked quite well for our espresso needs. in order to trim the budget, we eventually began buying bulk coffees from one of the large member club stores...the beans have (obviously) been adequate, but not memorable in taste. now, we want to up our game, offer a higher quality coffee--one that will stand out, one that will have customers remember their last cup while waiting in line for the next.
we are open to suggestions/recommendations...someone else suggested trying to stay as local as possible, and we subscribe to that thinking.
thanks in advance for any help!
the coffee hound
You're lucky to be in an area with more than a few choices. As local as possible is always good, especially when it comes to service benefits (training, consultation, support of all sorts...). It's just improbable for a Northwest or Hawaiian roaster to give you the level of attention you are entitled to from so far away. Also, a more-local roaster can help with the things we don't plan for - running out of coffee, etc. Touring roasting facilities is a great learning experience, which is hard to do if it's a 7-hour flight away. If you're near the roastery, some roasters will have on-site training where you can send employees to ensure they're getting their info straight from the people who are responsible for the coffee (the ones who know it best).
Definitely not a definitive list, but some come to mind:
Batdorf & Bronson in Atlanta, GA
Wrecking Ball Roasters in Washington, DC
Counter Culture in Durham, NC
1000 Faces in Athens, GA
so many more yummy coffees out there, have fun choosing!
You guys have covered most of the bases.
I'll add Larry's Beans from the Raleigh NC area and Joe Van Gogh from Hillsboro NC, plus another vote for Stockton, Counter Culture, Batdorf, 1000 Faces, and Cup to Cup.
Sadly, you can drop Dilworth Coffee from that list as they are no longer roasting here in Charlotte.
Paul Yates said:
Will's list is a good one. I would also add:
Cup to Cup Coffee Roasters, Savannah, GA. Operated by fellow BX'er James Spano
Carrboro Coffee Roasters, out of Carrboro, NC. Operated by Scott Conary, WBC Judge.
Dilworth Coffee, out of Charlotte, NC
Old Wwworld Coffee Roasters, Spartanburg, NC
Mtn. Air Roasting, Asheville, NC. Fellow BX'er Jared Rutledge uses these beans in his shop, Waking Life Espresso.
Despite the fact that I'm from VA, I don't know any roasters in the state. Not to say there aren't any. Oh, and I think that Wrecking Ball has actually moved to California recently.
Hope these help.
Counter Culture Coffee
Dynamite Coffee Roasters