We're steamrolling right along in this, the 2014 edition of Build-Outs of Summer, Sprudge.com's roving global construction site dedicated to impending new coffee spaces. The call was put out for submissions, and we've been bowled over by the amount of exciting new cafe and roastery projects from near and far, bustling metropoli and sleepy hamlets, holes-in-the-wall and cavernous warehouses alike. We now take a look at what's happening with our neighboUrs to the north, up in beautiful Vancouver, BC.
Canada! We featured the Revolver Coffee Archive in our build-outs series last year—and this year, we're excited to feature a brand new roastery straight outta the YVR.
Sharif Sharifi is opening Pallet Coffee Roasters, a micro-roastery and cafe in East Vancouver. “It's in East Vancouver, or ‘East Village' as the local BIA calls it,” says Sharifi. “The area is a mix of retail, industrial, and residential,” says the entrepreneur, adding that “the YVR coffee scene has been coming up real quietly these past few years.”
As told to Sprudge by Sharif Sharifi.
We’ve been building the place out from scratch since we got keys back in February, and we’ve just started on aesthetic, trimmings e all the accoutrements. The space is in one of the most eclectic parts of the city just off of East Hastings St, in an area called the East Village. Bordering on an industrial and residential street, Semlin Drive is the gateway to a number of excellent bistros, bakeries, commissaries and restaurants, and we’re ecstatic to become a part of it!
The 4,000-square-foot space, which used to be a seafood packager and exporter, had to be gutted because of heavy damage from all the salt. The first floor will be were the [roasting] magic happens, and also shared with the coffee shop. The purpose of the retail space will be to showcase the current coffee menu from various producers and to communicate our values.
Geared towards quality by sourcing exceptional specialty coffees, we'll be focusing on traceability and transparency to show that amazing coffee is easy to get. Working in specialty coffee myself for the past 6 years, I’ve noticed that accessibility is the major hurdle for most consumers. If people can understand and justify the price point through education and their senses, it makes it all that much simpler.
What's your approach to serving coffee?
Our approach to serving coffee goes back to transparency and quality; you can't make something delicious by using sub-par ingredients. We want to serve great, accessible coffee without any of the pretentiousness, and if the consumer is interested, with more information and education on the details. Some people just want a nice cup of coffee, but there's that group that also wants to know about the origin, how the coffee was processed, or even details about the individual producer.
As far as coffee offerings, we've sourced a nice diverse but simple menu. We'd rather do a few things well rather than come out the gate with more than we can handle.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
We've been in contact with Stealth Coffee Systems up here in Vancouver, and they'll be providing us with a lot of excellent equipment. For the bar we'll have a customized Strada MP that Yavor at Stealth has put many hours into. It's been torn down, rebuilt, and also powder-coated with a deep yellow boiler and matte black frame. For our espresso we'll have 2 Vulcanos and also the Vulcano Swift—so far we've been real happy with the performance and consistency of this version.
Not everyone wants to wait for coffee, which is why we'll have both Fetco and a slow bar accompanied by an EK43 and Marco under-counter. The Fetco has been a go-to for a lot of local shops and brews consistently nice drip.
What's your target opening month?
As far as a target month, as of now we're aiming for mid to late July.
Are you working with skilled craftspeople, architects, builders that you'd like to mention?
For sourcing of reclaimed wood we've been working with a well-known local named Nathan Wiens from Chapel Arts. He's heavily involved in the artist community but he also really knows his lumber, and has sourced some unique pieces for us. The overall buildout is something we've been running ourselves, and my partner Shane Dehkhohdaei, coming from a diverse construction background, has been overseeing the contracting.
Are you deep in the throes of a sweaty summer build-out? Let us know about it!