Well this sure caught me by surprise!
I never had the intention when I wrote my original post about Small Town Coffee Roasters, that I would be here writing a follow-up piece! But due to an overwhelming response from so many of you who loved the first one, and for so many who messaged me and introduced me to EVEN MORE small town coffee roasters here we are again!
This time around I reached out to five more coffee roasters across this great province that I wanted to make you aware of.
RiverBend Coffee Roasters – Calahoo, AB
This hamlet located about 50km north-west of Edmonton, Calahoo is a very small town with a population of only about 85 individuals. It’s also home to RiverBend Roasters which is ran by Steve and Michelle Blake .
They currently don’t have a website, but I am told they are busy working on getting something up as soon as next week. They have been selling their beans at local markets and shops around Calahoo and some surrounding communities.
Their roaster is an Artisan3 fluid-bed roaster and is on their family acreage, making small batches typically of 40 lbs a week. While not busy roasting coffee this husband & wife team have 3 kids and 2 dogs and love getting outdoors as much as possible.
What really impressed me with RiverBend was their commitment to doing good, both in their pursuit of installing Solar on their property to ensure that everything they do is done by renewable energy and that with each bag they sell, making a donation to Trout Unlimited Canada! Well done River Bend Roasters.
Battle Grounds Coffee Co. – Devon, AB
The town of Devon is located along Hwy 60 about 40km south-west of Edmonton. Home to about 6,500 people, it’s also home to Battle Grounds Coffee Co. This new coffee roaster is run by Steven Battle Bonilla. I got in touch with him to find out a bit more of his story.
I was born and raised in Costa Rica. Although my father’s side of the family is British/Canadian, my family on my mother’s side have been coffee estate owners and producers for four generations (I am the fourth). I moved to Canada in 2013. Roasting has always been part of my life; from sample roasting to large batches, I have always been part of the entire supply chain. The only way you know what kind of coffee you have, is to roast and cup and repeat!
We first started our journey in Canada as green coffee importers through our sister company Coffea Reciproca. and that remains the bulk of our business; we provide specialty grade coffee, imported directly into Edmonton. Their roasting is done on an Artisan 6M fluid bed electric roaster.
They have a great web-store if you want to purchase any of their beans. If you buy 2 bags from their store, shipping is free!
Brave Fox Coffee Co. – Beaumont, AB
If you head about 28km South-East from Edmonton you find yourself in the city of Beaumont (pop. 11,000). Home to Brave Fox Coffee Co. I connected up with the team behind Brave Fox to learn more about their company.
Brave Fox Coffee Co. is run by Rob & Kayla, a husband & wife team. Their journey into roasting coffee began after Rob stumbled upon some YouTube videos on how to roast coffee. Isn’t that how it always begins? LOL. They roast currently on a 5kg Toper TKM-SX5 in a roastery that they created in their triple car garage, it was well worth the sacrifice of Rob parking outside, Kayla says. “We have this roaster now and our roastery is very small but effective for what we enjoy doing, we never planned on having a business but seeing how many people we could expose to great freshly roasted coffee we could not look back!”
They have developed an amazing relationship with their coffee supplier from Colombia, Kayla says, and he is always keeping them in the loop with the best coffee from around the world. They currently sell online through their web-store and through a few local merchants in Beaumont as well as in neighbouring Devon & Camrose.
Black Stripe Coffee – Vegreville, AB
Black Stripe Coffee is an upstart coffee roaster is located in Vegreville (pop. 5,700) about half-way between Lloydminster & Edmonton along Hwy. 16.
I connected with Davin Gegolick from Black Strip who lives with his wife and 3 daughters. I asked him how he got into coffee, and he said “I’ve had an obsession with coffee at a very young age. In fact, in my mid-school days, I hid (from my parents) a coffee machine in my closet where I would make a cup of coffee every morning before school. My coffee obsession has stuck with me as an adult where I go to sleep every night looking forward to my morning coffee.”
Davin began his coffee roasting journey as many do, on a Behmor 1600plus. But after a year roasting on the Behmor, demand for fresh local coffee grew and it was time to upgrade the roaster. He’s currently roasting on the Aillio Bullet R1 and demand for fresh locally-roasted coffee is at an all-time high.
He says “most of my coffee Coffee is roasted on an on-demand basis where I’m contacted either via Facebook or Instagram. In addition, I occasionally sell coffee at the local outdoor farmer’s market and my coffee can also be found at Cafe Rista in Edmonton.”
Alternate Route Coffee – Leduc, AB
Alternate Route Coffee Co. hails from our largest “small-town” which is Leduc, AB (pop. 30,000) about 30 minutes south of Edmonton along Hwy. 2. So I get that this is a much larger city than the rest, and is really not a small town, but this coffee roaster deserves to be included in this list as much as the rest do.
Alternate Route Coffee is brain-child of Ian and Kellie Wahl, the husband and wife duo. Kellie is the face behind all things social media as well as the bagging, labeling and coordinating orders while Ian is the mastermind behind all the roasting. They love all things coffee & adventure and spend as much time as possible in the outdoors camping, hiking, canoeing, biking, snowboarding or snowshoeing.
Their coffee can be found at a number of local vendors around Leduc. They have a full list of stores on their site. They have a really well done website, with a great web-store as well if you wan to simply order online.
The currently roast on a gas 2kg North drum roaster. What is interesting is it’s located within a food trailer! It is the first of its kind in Canada, and maybe even North America! In 2018 they purchased a pizza trailer from a local business and flipped it into what they now call the #roasteryonwheels.
So there you have it! Five great small-town coffee roasters you should definitely check out when you’re exploring this beautiful province!
If you’re not able to visit these towns, make sure to give these roasters some love by following them of social media, and I highly recommend checking out their sites to learn more about their coffee and their companies.