Cape Cod Coffee Roasters has been serving the Cape community coffee for 44 years, and founder Demos Young’s family has been roasting coffee down the Cape since 1914. Two years ago, sisters Molly and Cate MacGregor, who themselves grew up on Cape Cod, moved back and purchased Cape Cod Coffee Roasters from Young. They’ve been growing and modernizing this family business, and are now remodeling the cafe & roastery. Read on to hear more about how this local institution is evolving with the changing Cape in this entry in our on-going Build-Outs Of Summer series.
As told to Sprudge by Cate MacGregor.
Can you tell us a bit about your company?
Cape Cod Coffee Roasters first opened in 1970, but its origins can be traced back to 1914. The company grew out of several coffee roasting businesses that the Young family had founded. This year, we’re celebrating 100 years in the coffee roasting business!
My sister Molly and I have gotten involved more recently. We were born and raised on Cape Cod and we both had moved away for different opportunities. But deep down we knew that one day we would return.
I’ve always been a coffee lover–I even worked in a small café before I was able to drive. But I was never really that into coffee–I knew what I liked and didn’t like and, at the time, that was good enough for me. Molly has also been a coffee drinker, but previously would load her coffee up with milk (today she wouldn’t dream of adding milk to our coffees!)
In 2012, we had the good fortune of meeting Demos Young, a third generation coffee roaster and founder of Cape Cod Coffee Roasters. We were absolutely blown away with his knowledge. Once we saw his roasting facility and tried the coffees, we were hooked. (We have a Lilla Opus 10 2-Bag coffee roaster.)
In speaking with Demos, we saw a real opportunity to grow Cape Cod Coffee Roasters and inspire others like ourselves who were coffee fans to upgrade their daily cup–making it more a moment of enjoyment rather than just that needed bolt of caffeine. We got involved with Cape Cod Coffee Roasters a few months later, and now, we own the company and have grown it significantly over the past two years. Today, we sell our beans from our roastery/soon-to-be café, online, and wholesale to restaurants, inns and more. We’re also thrilled that Demos has stayed with us as our master roaster and coffee consultant. We’ve learned so much about coffee during this time and are still learning more each day.
What’s your approach to coffee?
We want people to enjoy coffee, not just gulp it down. We aim to elevate people’s coffee drinking experience by providing high-quality, locally-roasted specialty coffees. Whether you are a coffee aficionado or a general coffee drinker, we aim to have at least one coffee that you will love (and more than likely several). Want to be both approachable, yet have a deep repertoire to meet our customers where they are on the coffee spectrum–coffee drinkers to coffee aficionados.
We often find that once people start drinking our coffees, they become more discerning with their coffee selections. They start to expect more from their daily brew and also from places that serve coffee, like restaurants. We have a large wholesale portion to our business–and often times, we get calls from restaurants wanting to switch over to our coffees because they’ve had so many requests from their customers. It’s really exciting to see the passion that our customers have for our coffees!
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
We are really excited about a new Rwanda coffee that we just got in. We are actually the first coffee roasting company in the U.S. to offer this particular Rwanda pick of the crop select from Impala Zone and Gashonga Co-op Coffee Washing Stations. It is a Kivu Bourbon coffee—an heirloom varietal of coffee bean, which is light, bright and buttery. This coffee is a direct result of the East Africa Coffee Initiative: a $47 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Technoserve to help small-scale farmers in East Africa boost their incomes by improving the quality of their coffee.
With the new setup, we’ll also be able to offer cold brew. While cold brew has been around for a while, it is really just making its way to Cape Cod. We’ve been finding that many people here aren’t familiar with it, and we’re thrilled to be the ones to introduce them to its deliciousness. We’ve been using the toddy system to make cold brew at home and are working on perfecting our recipe for the commercial toddy system for our café.
What’s your hopeful target opening month for the remodel?
We’re planning a soft opening in early August and a grand opening in early September.
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
We had an idea of the style and direction we wanted to go with our remodel, but our café consultant, Dana Heilman really helped bring our vision to life. He has designed other local restaurants and we were really impressed with the unique Cape Cod look and feel that he was able to achieve with his other projects. We also knew we wanted to repurpose the majority of the materials used in our rebuild to keep our environmental impact light and also save ourselves some money that could then put towards purchasing more great green coffee beans!
We also brought in Atlantic Workshop for some of the woodwork. They are known for re-using and re-purposing items while creating attractive spaces so we were happy to have them on board. Together, we were able to create a really nice space that significantly improved on our previous one – allowing us to better meet the needs of our customers, while making our operations and flow more efficient. (Plus the 70s vibe of our old space was in serious need of updating!)