As summer comes to a close, so too do the Build-Outs of Summer. It’s bittersweet in a lot of ways. Though the dog days are behind us and the best coffee-drinking weather is quickly approaching, we have to close the book on our season-long look at brand new cafes big and small.
But before we pen the epilogue on the 2017 Build-Outs, there’s still a chapter or two left to write. Today’s verse comes via Gray Squirrel Coffee Roasters in Carrboro, North Carolina. On top of the 2,400-square-foot cafe/roastery/lab profiled here, they are in the throes of opening up a scaled-down kiosk inside the Chapel Hill Public Library. Sometimes expansion comes in chunks. So let’s take a look inside the biggest chunk, Gray Squirrel Coffee’s massive new roastery space.
As told to Sprudge by Shaw Sturton.
For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?
We are a small-batch specialty coffee roaster, roasting in-house and serving a minimal menu of finely crafted espresso drinks and drip coffee as well as a small array of locally made baked goods.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
We will still be located in beautiful downtown Carrboro. The new space is approximately 2,400-square-feet and will be our flagship roastery, espresso bar, bakery, and lab. Not venturing far from our original idea, we worked closely with our architect and builder to create a clean functional space that is simple and focused, and just like our original 250-square-foot roastery and espresso bar, the design is about workflow and clean lines, again a form within function approach.
Also, we will be opening within the Chapel Hill Public Library (100 Library Drive) by mid-September. We will be serving from behind a custom Alpha Capsule, which fits wonderfully in the lobby of the library. We will offer a scaled-down version of our menu as well as bean sale.
What’s your approach to coffee?
Our approach is to buy balanced, clean, and sweet coffee, and develop a roast profile that will highlight the coffee’s best characteristics.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
We will be moving all of our current equipment and adding a three-group Synesso Hydra and a FETCO 2132XTS for our batch brew. Our trusty La Marzocco Linea MP will move into the lab and we will add another Mahlkönig K30 Twin.
At our library location, we will have a La Marzocco Linea, Mahlkonig K30 Twin, and FETCO HWD-2105TOD as well as a Fetco 2131XTS for batch brew.
What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?
Our target date for our flagship location is early fall, and for the library mid-September.
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
We are working with some great local folks! Our architect is Matthew Ford of Moment Studio. Leo Gaev Metalworks took care of all our metal needs, such as building our awesome outdoor canopy, as well as all of our tables. Cray Gunn of Custom Carpentry Group made it all happen.