Our Story Begins: An Irish Ale in an Italian Town. A Roasting Tour. THE Idea. (November 2018)
The idea to roast coffee came in the most unusual of places: An Irish bar in Florence, Italy. Over a pint of Guinness, no less. Siblings Molly and Chris Allen, Margaret Allen and Jeff Dangremond were in the Renaissance capital to study with the Espresso Academy. We were interested in coffee, and what better place to learn, right? Part of our 10-day crash course was a tour of The Mokaflor Roastery that was attached to the school. We were trained and tested on the basics of coffee roasting. Let’s just say the tour was hit, and after class we found that pub, sat down and said in unison, “We gotta’ roast”.
One Hot Summer in a Garage. An SF Roaster. Lots and Lots of Green Beans (Spring, 2019)
Fast forward very quickly to May of 2019, and a shiny new San Franciscan Coffee Roaster roaster arrives on Chris’s driveway. He’s agreed to turn his band’s practice space (his garage) into to the Ready Set’s very first roast room.
Shipments begin arriving with green coffee from Brazil, Guatemala, Ethiopia…Sumatra! The game’s afoot and we spend a long hot summer, roasting, re-roasting, tasting and testing. Along the way our new friend Robert Brinck, a sensory and roast specialist from the Espresso Academy flew in from Italy to join us for a week of roasting and more roasting, Q-Grader and master-roaster Seth Chapman from Water Street Coffee visits for a week from Kazoo, MI to help us dial in roast profiles, and the team even took a break to travel to Boone, NC and learn some new tricks with Bald Guy Brew’s owner and Q-Grader Don Cox. By the time the weather begins to cool in the garage, we were feeling ready to share our coffee with the world…or at least a few close friends and relatives!
A Sound Company. Gordon Square. A Global Pandemic. A Vegan Chef. (The dreaded 2020)
The garage, as lovely of a home as it was, was getting small and we had set our sights on a lovely new home in Gordon Square’s Art District. The building was the former home of the Dorn School of Expression, and the neighborhood was filled with like-minded business owners and friends such as the Terrestrial Brewing Company, Stone Mad, Banter and more.
As the build out plans were being made in 2020, well, we all know what happened next. The built out was slowed down in Gordon Square, but we still needed to move to a bigger location. Our friend Rich Masarik of Vertical Sound came to the rescue and rented us space in his very large warehouse. The show went on. We continued roasting and starting delivering freshly roasted beans to all the good folks of Northeast Ohio hunkered down for the pandemic. National orders started coming in, as far as Homer, Alaksa. On one of those local deliveries we met Chef Josh Ingraham. He was a fan! He asked if we would open up a Pop-Up Shop at his vegan eatery Go Buddha in Rocky River. We jumped at the chance, and have made so many good friends there. We brought on board barista Severn Sanders to join our team as head barista. Talk about bright spots of 2020!
Keys to the Front Door. Light at the End of the Tunnel. (Winter 2021 and beyond.)
The pandemic hadn’t slowed headed into the New Year, we hadn’t either. We entered 2021 with keys to our new space! The build out has begun in earnest in Gordon Square and hammers are flying in the other room as I write this. We will be opening in Spring of 2021, roasting and delivering. Serving and sipping and always in search of the perfect cup. We can’t wait to open our doors to you. Thank you all for being a part of our journey.
READ ALL ABOUT IT!!!
Along the way we’ve been honored to be mentioned in some great publications. Take a look:
Our first National Press from Roast Magazine’s “Daily Coffee News”:
The Land: https://www.thelandcle.org/stories/tag/dorn+school+of+expression
Links of note:
Gordon Square Arts District:
The Espresso Academy, Florence, Italy: