All Good Things Start in a Garage

Temporary roastery setup in Scott's Garage

… or a basement.

My first coffee roastery was in my basement.

It was early 2006. In the darkness, I built a small shop, added good ventilation, and decked out the roastery with benches, lighting, and CBC radio.

What more did I need?

With my 1.25lb Sivetz roaster, and good supply of green coffee beans, I was a mad scientist roasting and blending delectable batches of incredibly fresh, aromatic coffee. (Yes, the neighbours loved me… mostly, I think). I had a lot of fun and even developed a famous holiday blend.

For a couple years, I sold my fresh roasted, organic coffee beans at the Peterborough Farmer’s Market (pre-drama) as their first-ever local coffee roaster. It was a hit. People loved it. The extrovert teacher in me enjoyed delivering the educational spiel, and I grew a good following.

The Gooderham Family has always loved a good beverage — especially when produced with care by local labour. The graphic above came from my first company website… in 2006. My attempt at drawing a connection between Whiskey and Coffee.
Newspaper clipping from May, 2007
Clipping from The Peterborough Examiner, May 2007. By this point, I was selling beans at the Farmer’s Market for almost a year. The paper was covering a story about… coffee with a conscience.
1000 batches
The day this small batch coffee roaster hit 1000 batches!

Short circuits are bad for business.

Turns out, the small 1.25lb Sivetz roaster I had wasn’t quite enough to sustain a viable business. Sure, I could roast the best coffee this side of the GTA, but I pushed it too hard. It broke down a lot. Also, I ultimately had to decide if the Farmers Market weekend worker lifestyle was suitable for the life my future wife and family had in mind… it wasn’t.

You could see where this was going.

My wife and I got married in September 2007. She worked during the week. I worked like a dog Fridays & Saturdays. The one day we had together (Sundays) I was so tired I felt like staying put. Meanwhile, my fiancé was pining for a canoe trip with three portages and a shore lunch, or something equally impressive (but energy-demanding).

Something had to give.

End of 2007, a new job was calling me. I left the Farmers Market and took a role as the Urban Forest program coordinator at Peterborough Green-Up. I roasted part-time for a few customers on evenings or weekends. Still, I would eventually put my Sivetz roaster to bed in 2009.

10 years, two kids, one persistent dream

…a bigger roaster

scotts garage

This time around, my roastery has started out in my friend’s garage. I’m forever grateful to my incredibly loving and talented friends, Stephanie & Scott, who continue to tolerate my bloom of roasting aromas.

Coffee Roasting is a passion.

I love brewing and drinking fresh roasted coffee. My love of chemistry and passion for creating diverse flavours & incredible aromas with unique coffees from around the world is what brought me back into coffee roasting.

Still a side hustle.

The coffee industry has changed a lot in ten years. Consumers have access to even more small-scale suppliers and micro-roasters doing equally good things with ethically sourced coffee beans. I’m not out to steal business from competitors or win any races. I’m just delighted to supply my friends, family, and local coffee drinkers —passionate home baristas— with premium, fresh roasted (roast date stamped on the bag!), whole-bean coffee sold in a kraft paper bag.

For many people, choosing their brand boils down to convenience. I hope for you that it’s also about supporting a diversity of local culinary producers doing yummy things with a passion.


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