Sturbridge Coffee Roasters has new owners
Thank you to Sturbridge Times for the great article on our business. Check out page 12 of Sturbridge Times September issue.
By Stephanie Richards
Not enough people know the value of fresh roasted coffee, but Elvis Dyer is on a mission to change that beginning with a great cup of Joe.
The Dudley resident bought Sturbridge Coffee Roasters in Southbridge last month and is passionate about more people tasting the difference in fresh roast. “My wife Karen and I found the value of fresh roasted coffee about a decade ago. We were buying coffee beans from Sturbridge Coffee Roasters and also having them shipped from Hawaii. I went in the store about one year ago and asked the former owner to remember me first if he ever wanted to sell the business,” Dyer said. “When I got laid off, finding a job was difficult. I approached him again as it was the perfect time to pursue buying the business and we sealed the deal last month. My background is in automotive customer service – people and fresh coffee are my passion.”
Dyer bought the business and hit the ground running, pouring himself in renovation work at the store, located in the Flat Iron Building on Hamilton Street in Southbridge. The walls have been painted a cool Newport Blue with trim in a Dakota Ranchwood tan. The 9-inch wide plank pine floors have been refinished. Dyer's father -in-law and brother-in-law have made wood counters and shelves for storage. In addition, the logo and website have been redesigned and social media accounts setup on Facebook and Twitter. He has also purchased new equipment, including a Rancilio Espresso Maker from Italy.
Sturbridge Coffee Roasters specializes in roasted Arabica beans from around the world, single origin coffees like Sumatran and Costa Rican, and Signature Blends as well as organic/fair trade beans. Flavored coffee is also available and includes vanilla and hazelnut.
“The older the beans, the more bitter the coffee. Some coffee you buy is brewed with beans three to six months or older. Our beans will be roasted and always fresh – not older than a week,” Dyer said.
Beans are roasted on-site in a Diedrich IR-7 coffee roaster manufactured in the United States. “Roasting brings out the richest flavor or essence of the bean. That is why you don’t grind the beans until just before you make coffee. As beans age, they loose that pure taste,” Dyer said. This specialty roast process begins with 10-pound batches of coffee beans, which are shaken to get chafe out. The roaster is then fired up to a temperature of 420 degrees. Once that is reached, the beans are dropped in and the temperature drops to 200 degrees and the roasting begins. “At that point you listen and watch as roasting happens, manipulating the gas and air flow to create the taste you want. That is where the mastery comes in. At first crack, the bean expands and you can drop them – that is considered a Blonde roast. It actually has the most caffeine,” Dyer said. “For dark roast, the temperature needs to reach between 458 and 465 degrees to give a stronger, deeper coffee flavor. After, beans are dropped they are put in the agitator to cool. Then you let the gases come out for two or three days before using.
I want to roast just enough coffee every week so that it is constantly fresh.”
Coffee to go is available in single servings or one-half to one-pound bags. In addition, Sturbridge Coffee Roasters offers Harney & Sons teas, Ghirardelli hot chocolate, healthy smoothies made with fruit and kale, and Italian soda (in the future). A light menu is on the table with breakfast fare of muffins, scones, egg and cheese biscuits and breakfast burritos. Lunch items include soups, chili and chowder as well as sandwiches like roast beef, turkey, Italian, BLT and vegetarian. Free Wi- Fi is available for customers.
While he is in business to make a profit, Dyer recognizes the importance of being in the community. Each month, he is donating 10 percent of net profits to local charities. “The biggest thing I think a lot of businesses miss is that they are in the community and need to do things to help it. This month profits are going to homeless Veterans,” he said.
To coincide with his 47th birthday, Dyer is throwing a Grand Opening for the business on September 26. “For me, the jewel of the business is creating the freshest coffee so that customers taste the essence of the beans. Coffee is the second commodity in the world–there is nothing better than fresh roasted coffee and my goal is to educate the masses about it,” Dyer said. “I want to give customers a great experience in everything so as when they leave they say, ‘Wow, I’ll be back.’”
Sturbridge Coffee Roasters is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 508.765.5520 or on Facebook search “Sturbridge Coffee Roasters”