Every once in a while someone will ask us a question that goes something like this: “Do you think the coffee market is saturated? Is there *too* much coffee out there right now?”
And then you read a story like this one, hailing from tiny Flomaton, Alabama, population 1,000, just on the AL side of the Florida-Alabama border. That’s where Jake Bondurant and the team at Sophia Coffee took a pandemic start-up and spun it into a new coffee roasting business, pushing forward coffee quality and educated folks who might not already be familiar with the culinary delights of our favorite beverage. There is *always* room for more coffee, and stories like this are proof positive.
As told to Sprudge by Jake Bondurant.
For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?
We started roasting coffee during the pandemic. We began roasting in our shed, and rapidly out grew our space. As we began roasting we wanted to make good and wise decisions, therefore we landed on our name Sophia, which is the greek word for wisdom. We want to continue making wise decisions as we seek to grow our business.
We are located in a very small town, and our desire is to educate the people around us and help them discover great coffee. We primarily have been roasting, and that is our goal to become a well-known name in the south. We opened the coffee shop as a way to showcase our coffees.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
As we began to look for a space to grow, we were limited, there are not a lot of buildings for sale or rent in our area. We were able to find ourselves being able to move into the old Vic Tone dry cleaners. We began renovating this building and strived to do all that we could ourselves. We have been able to do the majority of that work without going into much debt, which was our goal. We learned how to run plumbing, we learned how to sheetrock, lay flooring, and many other tasks that we learned through youtube. :-)
What’s your approach to coffee?
We strive to make coffee accessible to our community. Specialty coffee is new to our community and we strive to help not feel overwhelmed and learn to really enjoy the story behind the cup and then help them discover the nuances in each coffee.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
For roasting we are using a Mill City 6k roaster. We recently made that move, we were roasting on a Mill City 1k.
What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?
We opened our doors in January 2022.