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At Ashley’s Table — Our Story Part 1 Beginnings

By | 2016-12-23T02:35:31+00:00 March 8th, 2016|At Ashley's Table|

THE BEGINNING OF OUR COFFEE ADVENTURE   We had a dream of starting our own business. My husband, Lance, has files full of business plans that he began writing in high school. We talked about it when we dated and when our first son was born I quit a job I loved to come home so that we could start our first business. But it was two long years after taking the leap when the adventure started for us. Lance was in a local coffee shop and asked the owner about his coffee roaster. His response, “We haven’t used it in years. Frankly I’d pay somebody to get this thing out of here.” Within the week we had a friend who came and helped us move it into another friend’s garage. This thing was huge-picture two refrigerators and a deep freeze. We had a small house-where were we going to put it? What are we going to do with it? The previous owner gladly got rid of it because the flue had caught fire and they worried about their retail shop Soon after Lance had a customer at his day job who shared his story about roasting coffee from his home. It was during this conversation that we realized that we had been given a piece of equipment worth $12,000 USED. Yes, GIVEN to us. After years of waiting and dreaming our adventure of starting our own business officially began. Chaff separator Lance with the roaster  

Why You Should Cold Brew Your Iced Coffee

By | 2016-12-23T02:35:31+00:00 August 23rd, 2015|Roasts|

Ode to the Office Coffee Daily I invariably witness the nascent behavior of a co-worker brewing a fresh pot of coffee, filling their mug with ice and stirring up something that resembles the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon disaster and has an aftertaste similar to a week old bottle of Chianti.  Even more disconcerting is taking the leftovers from the morning pot and sticking it in the fridge for a beverage the next day. Why is that oil slick there and why is the roof of your mouth dried out?  Can you get rid of those issues, free to enjoy an iced coffee without the rainbow hue OR the $5.00+ price tag from the local coffee shop? If you’re not a chemistry savvy person, you’re going to love this.  If you love the scientific method, acquiring knowledge through trial and investigating phenomena, this is for you.  If you have an affinity for both wine and coffee, you have arrived. […]

What’s the Value of Reusable Coffee Pods?

By | 2016-12-23T02:35:32+00:00 August 23rd, 2015|Roasts|

The simplicity of it all is what makes coffee pod machines, especially the Keurig line of automated coffee machines, so attractive.  It's plug and play in our automated, integrated, no time to dilly dally lifestyles. According to Mother Jones from an article in march of 2014, the largest producer of coffee pods, Keurig Green Mountain, produced enough units in 2013 alone that the waste from them could circle the globe 10.5 times.  That's not counting Starbucks, McDonald's or any other brand's production numbers.  Only 5% of them were made from recycled plastic, and the #7 plastic used in the pods are not recycled by most US cities.  The SFGate provides some advice on recycling portions of your pod, but the effort trumps the convenience factor the brewer is attempting to achieve. Then there's the price.  At anywhere from $0.40 to well over a buck per pod, the average consumer is paying the equivalent of $23-$50 per pound of coffee.  The time between the actually roasting, grinding and sealing of the coffee into the pod is often a mystery, bringing freshness and quality to a place of uncertainty.  Currently most local coffee roasters across the United States provide high quality single origin coffees and blends between $9-$20 per pound. With convenience often comes consequence and in this instance the consequences seem to have a dichotomy. There is an irony and fervency that feels like I'm either the person at the end of the pirate's plank or the one holding the sword pushing someone else out to the end.  Once I've invested in this machine, I must use it, lest it take up a space on the pantry shelf occupied by the Walkman and the VHS automated [...]

Everyone has an “Old Bessie”

By | 2015-08-23T00:04:42+00:00 May 1st, 2013|Roasts|

I can say that I have my own Old Bessie.  Our roaster, a Primo PRI-20, is a fire-breathing 1500-pound mechanical wonder.  I place the harvest of farmers who live far from my childhood experiences into this churning contrivance and with a bit of science, a bit of art, and a lot of providence, it produces the aromatic treasures we share as our coffees. […]

Giving as culture

By | 2015-08-23T00:04:51+00:00 April 17th, 2013|Roasts|

As the term social entrepreneurship gets tossed around frequently, it seemed logical that we would simply share what we perceive to be the definition, at least for our business.We roast premium coffees and sell them to the general public, restaurants, hotels, and through a vending company to office break rooms.  We’ve dabbled a bit with farmer’s markets, which seems to always give us a great connection to what our customers really want from us.  The social element for us means we have a requirement, not just an option, to improve the quality of life for those less fortunate than us.  To borrow a rather controversial phrase, we see ourselves as the “1%”, and that its our duty, not the government’s, to care for others.  We have no problem being the 1%.  It affords us the opportunity to be radically generous towards others.  Social entrepreneurship is a heart position translated to an active business model. […]

In the beginning, It was formless

By | 2016-12-23T02:35:32+00:00 April 1st, 2013|Roasts|

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”-Winston ChurchillWhat I found most imposing about the task I had set before myself that day in October 2010 was not the sheer volume of work, raising a business from scratch while raising a family and working two other jobs, but the width of the dang door.This 1500-pound albatross, a Primo PRI-20 commercial grade coffee roaster, was just sitting in Dave’s shop.  He hadn’t fired it up since 2006, when he and his wife/business partner had an actual fire in the flue system.  Meeting with my friend Brian in his second office at the table by the window had become commonplace, and I had stared at the coffee roaster for years, quietly admiring it and yet was troubled by how much valuable retail space it was wasting for this coffee shop. […]

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