For many, owning a coffee shop is a romantic notion, an ideal built around hours spent in cafes, sucking the marrow from the very bones of life. Now, whether actually owning a coffee shop aligns with what we make it out to be in our heads may be another story entirely. Still, a cafe of one’s own is for some a dream come true.
Thus is the case for Matt and Kelsey Rosenblum with Golden Lantern Coffee Roasters in Laguna Hills, California. After traveling the globe soaking up the scenes from coffee cultures around the world, the Rosenblums decided to head back home to Southern California to put down roots and open a cafe and roastery space of their very own. With Golden Lantern, their goal is to bring the best of the global coffee culture they experienced to Laguna Hills, focusing on “a premium, personable, and approachable experience.” A global coffee experience close to home. Truly that is the dream.
As told to Sprudge by Matt Rosenblum.
For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?
It started with an idea on the other side of the world: born from venturing into what Mark Twain referred to as “the territory.” A decade ago we started getting in the van, stepping on the bus, and boarding the plane, and while our travels took us around the world many times over, the experience of coffee culture became a constant in our day. As we ventured, what started as simply searching for a good cup of coffee turned into a ritual of culture, community, and of course caffeine. Spending years as enthusiasts, our goal was to eventually bring the finest aspects of specialty coffee culture around the world back home, to grow with our Southern California community.
Like many great roasters before us, we started in the garage. Countless batches were roasted, tasted, and roasted again. Hundreds of shots were pulled, gallons of coffee brewed. As our craft shaped, so did our ideals. It was simply not enough to just turn beans brown, we needed to be meticulous about the farms we supported, the beans we roasted, and the community we served. Our mission became simple: Inspire and educate through a premium, personable, and approachable experience.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
We pride ourselves on being a completely self-funded small business. Joining the ranks of a small selection of great roasters in Southern California, we took the route of building our roastery with a joint tasting room and pro shop. As many roasters in California know, it can be a challenge putting a roaster in a retail environment, and needing the extra space we opted to transform what was once an industrial space into a SoCal specialty coffee hub. While we love the mystery of a roaster behind closed doors, we always intended to have a creative and relaxed space open to the community where customers can meet us, get some good coffee, upgrade some brewing equipment, and learn something new and educational.
What’s your approach to coffee?
Our goal is to offer a premium, personable, and approachable coffee experience.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
All coffee is roasted in-house on our Mill City 15kg and 3kg roasters. The tasting room is equipped with a La Marzocco Linea Mini, a Mazzer Super Jolly, Mahlkönig EK43, and various manual brewing tools, vessels, and gear through great companies like Hario, Fellow, Acaia, and Baratza. The equipment was chosen not only with quality in mind, but we wanted equipment that we felt was hands-on and great for learning the craft of each brew method. While we love automatic machines, we’ve always felt it’s best to learn and master every step of a given brew method to learn the challenges and rewards that come with each.
How is your project considering sustainability?
We focus on creating relationships with coffee producers who share our values of environmental stewardship, fair treatment of team members, investments into local communities and a passion for achieving the highest quality potential that can be reached. Additionally, once open, our business will focus on sustainable practices like reusable cup discounts, recycled material, and biodegradable paper goods, and donations of proceeds on certain items to climate-friendly organizations in southern Orange County.
What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
Roastery design and build-out by Kelsey Rosenblum.