The cafe is now becoming more real. It has gone through several heart-breaking iterations, and survived the completely absurd bidding process. Marlin Design Build was able to hang in there with me through the rough patch and the permitting process is almost done. Andy Osterlund, my architect, has written a lengthy novel called Construction Plans, his signature stamped on every page.
I had to give up a few things to make it happen, no second overlook on the mezzanine level, no compressed recycled paper bar tops, and no waterless urinal. But the things that really mattered, well, they made it through. We will have a 14′ garage door to open on most days, Raleigh is pretty decent like that. The roaster made it too, the newer one, a bit bigger, a bit newer, but still not a monster. I had to say good-bye to Rita the Roaster, my Sonofresco one pound roaster. We had some great times together girl, we really did. But daddy needed the money, so godspeed you fiery red roaster, godspeed.
I have decided to stop offering mail delivery of beans during the construction process. If you are in the local Raleigh area, you can still order online, just like before, there will just be no option to mail. It is time to really focus, and as much as I love roasting, getting the cafe doors open is more important.
I have summed it up in my head, yes, we are months and months behind, but how much sweeter the juice will be. There are plenty of quippy quotes you can insert here: If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, etc, etc. I just had no idea. But then how would I, this is the first time I have ever tried.
In the coming months I will keep anyone who cares updated on the construction process via Facebook and Twitter. Plenty of pictures, plenty of blood, sweat, and tears. The excitement has been tempered by the process, but the desire is much stronger. Stop by The Hue if you are around, say hi, offer up your opinion on how it is going.
We are excited to announce our second roaster to be featured in the cafe on a regular basis: Oak City Roasters. We will offer Oak City Roasters beans not only packaged and ready to take home, but also as one of our in-house daily coffees!
In 2012 Oak City Coffee Roasters started up to give the people of Raleigh their own coffee – one they can love because it is delicious. Farmer-direct, roasted in downtown Raleigh, and making an impact in our city and the world. Their motto is “Love Locally, Love Globally” – meaning that they intentionally benefit everyone they reach in the best way they can make possible.
- to invite people to experience the roasting process with them, first hand
- to benefit the community in meaningful ways, beginning with hiring adults with special needs
- to benefit farmers by using direct, generous trade routes, and eliminating poverty
They want to be unique enough, and good enough for people to be proud of. They daily ask the question “How good can a small, local company be?”
Owner Bill Landahl talks about how it all started:
“What started me in coffee was meeting a colleague at work who grew up on his father’s coffee farm in Colombia. We talked about getting his father’s coffee into the US and finding someone to roast it, and he could sell it.
I started looking into it for him on Christmas Day, 2011, and immediately realized I didn’t want to find a roaster, I wanted to be a roaster- what a great occupation- making something of quality that people love, something that could have positive impact- providing jobs locally, expressing compassion, and with the chance to return to poor regions where I had worked years before. Only now, with opportunities for prosperity. There was no way I wasn’t going to do this!
A month later I bought a 10kg commercial roaster and started learning everything from scratch. My friend John and I landed in an old Raleigh fire station (which was awesome!) and the dream started growing. If I was going to have a business, it would be built for impact- to make a difference in Raleigh and the world.”
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Café de los Muertos plans on not offering only our own roasted coffee, but several roasted coffees by local powerhouses here in Raleigh, NC. Our first roaster that is signed up to offer their beans in the cafe is Raleigh Coffee Company. We will offer Raleigh Coffee Company beans not only packaged and ready to take home, but also as one of our in-house coffees that will be part of our many offerings. You win, we win, we all win!
Raleigh Coffee Company started in December of 2012. It began as a back porch hobby and quickly evolved into a functioning roastery, in the back of a local grocery store. As a Raleigh native, Joe, the owner of Raleigh Coffee Company, is inspired to be on the front lines of the growing coffee industry in Raleigh and is excited about sharing his art of coffee roasting to the local community. What keeps Joe interested in growing is the constant mission to seek perfection in coffee. Joe mentions, “Once you know the fundamentals, there are so many variables that branch out from standardization with coffee. It is really left up to the artist to develop an awesome product for others to enjoy.”
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Due to recent and numerous requests, we are now offering our beans online again! We are close to finishing off our current supply of over 7 great beans, and are beginning to contact our supplier for new beans that are in season. One pound will be the only option, the old 12 ounce option wasn’t really that popular, I guess in a way that is a compliment to our reasonable prices and quality beans. If so, thank you.
Located in Raleigh? We now offer a Pick-Up option upon check-out. Stop by the Muertos home-base, or I can meet you in town, just let me know what you would prefer, we can work it out. No charge for this service. In the next month or so we will be offering airtight glass jars for our local customers. The idea is that you will pay a few bucks more for the first pound of coffee, that buys you the jar. Purchases made after the initial one gives you a lower price, a swank jar to display on the kitchen counter, and most importantly, a reusable container! As you may know already, one of our main goals at Café de los Muertos is to lower our footprint as low as humanly possible. Disposable bags are nice, airtight and reusable jars are even better.
You can visit our Beans For Sale page, and coming next week, we will have two different t-shirts for sale! The t-shirts will feature the Café de los Murtos logo on the front, with text on the back. One is a 3/4 sleeve baseball t-shirt, the other is an ultra comfortable, Organic, short sleeve t-shirt. You will be able to find that on the Merchandise page.
We started getting serious about roasting beans while living in San Diego, CA. After developing lasting relationships with the top roasters and cafes in San Diego, we began taking notes, asking questions, asking what worked, and what didn’t. From roasting green beans to greatness, and running a cafe the right way, balancing profit motive with social responsibility. We began roasting beans, day and night, learning the nuances of a well roasted bean, whether it was from Yemen, or Chiapas, Mexico. Selling the beans online, we quickly figured out that the next step was to open a cafe.
Now back in Raleigh, NC, we aim to take the knowledge that has been accumulated, and open our own place. A place that will hope to become:
- a zeitgeist for conversation, heady as well as light fare.
- a place to enjoy unique Central American snacks and treats, from Tamales to Pan de Muertos and Empanadas de Manzana.
- a place to enjoy art and music.
- a place to read a book.
- a place to check your email.
- a place to check out.
- a place to just drink great coffee and espresso.
So the hunt has begun. We are hoping to find something as downtown as possible close to shopping, condos and homes. We want people to have space to relax, sit outside, think, and most importantly, drink coffee. The search has proven challenging, more specifically, we have discovered how picky we are, this needs to be done right, and we will wait until the right space is found. If you have information regarding retail/restaurant space becoming available, please email us, we are all ears, open to all the possibilities. And know, if your lead becomes our reality, don’t worry about paying for coffee anytime soon.
How do we roast? We roast one pound at a time. One order at a time. For one person at a time. By doing this, we have actually have performed many more roasts than the big roasters have. We don’t have the expensive roasting profile computers, but we do have attention to detail, and a serious passion for roasting great beans. Being that we only roast one one pound at a time, this also allows up to easily adjust roast degree based on your preferences. Don’t want your Sumatra – Gayo Mountain too oily and dark, just say so, we can pull it back a bit. It is easy for us to accommodate you, we encourage it. The bigger roasters? Not so much…
Café de los Muertos roasts on a Sonofresco Roaster. Coffee beans roasted in a Sonofresco are comparable to the best commercial drum roasters on the market. Different coffees, blends, and roast levels – from light roasts to dark French, Italian and Espresso.. all easily attainable with this roaster.
Her name is Rita, and she is a lover.