While we’re quite sure that turning California into 6 different states is a terrible idea–the product of #viral thinking turning into some kind of actual mental virus–we’re equally sure that the progression of specialty coffee in the Golden State will leave no stone unturned. Enter Paso Robles, a town in SoCal with a well-deserved reputation for delicious wine, but without a ton happening on the coffee front.
Enter Spearhead Coffee, a new roaster / retailer getting set to open later in 2014, and currently deep in build-out and permitting mode. Is California’s Central Coast on the brink of exploding into the state’s hottest new coffee scene? Scout Roasters in San Luis Obispo is one of the most buzzed about new coffee company’s to open in America this year, located just down the road from Paso Robles. Will Spearhead in Paso Robles be the next Central Coast cafe making waves?
As told to Sprudge by Jeremy Sizemore.
Can you tell us a bit about your new space?
619 12th St. is located just across the street from the downtown Paso Robles City Park. The downtown area is a hub for both locals and visitors, with restaurants, a theater, events regularly happening in the park, shopping, wine tasting, etc. The space will be home to both our cafe and roasting works. It’s a great space with plenty of free parking. There are 2200 sq. feet inside, and ample space outdoors for seating in front and a cozy back patio. The cafe will be comfortable and inspiring with a warm, clean, rustic, artistic feel. We plan to use quite a bit of re-purposed wood to give it an organic feel and since Paso Robles has a thriving art scene, we want to have plenty of quality art on the walls.
We will roast daily to ensure the freshest, best quality coffee beans we can offer. This also gives us more opportunity to educate our customers in coffee, from green bean to cup. As the roaster, I plan to show people around the roasting works (which will be visible and accessible from the cafe) regularly. I see it as part of my job to share with our customers the process of selecting green beans, the way that the beans are processed, and the way that I roast them.
What’s your approach to serving coffee? Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
Throughout the build-out, we are constantly roasting and cupping samples to select amazing coffees for our customers. It is the most fascinating and stimulating part of our build-out.
About our approach to serving coffee: We’ve been cupping a lot of coffee because we’re really shooting to serve 90+ coffees. We want to serve the very best coffee we can, with a smile and without the pretentiousness. We intend to serve mostly single origins in the cafe, but with the wholesale we will be catering to our customers interests, where some may want to build their own signature blend.
Some of our equipment for the cafe includes: a Fetco batch brewer, a classic 2 group La Marzocco Linea, Electronic and manual Mazzer Super Jolly espresso grinders. We plan to have a couple Baratza grinders and Bonavita temperature control electric kettles as well, for our pour-over system which will probably include Hario V60’s, Chemex, and various other brewing devices to give home brewing tutorials to customers. And since Paso Robles is wine-tasting country, we are exploring some ideas to offer some single origin coffee flights.
In the roasting works we plan to start with an Ambex YM 2 for our in-house roasting and the launch of our wholesale roasting division. Once our wholesale division starts picking up some speed, we would like to upgrade to a San Franciscan SF-25 (though we wouldn’t turn our nose up to a Probat or Giesen).
What’s your hopeful target opening month?
We are working hard to do everything we can do while we wait for our building permit to be finalized. We have been working on our floors (getting them prepared to stain and seal them), skim coating the old textured walls to ensure they are smooth and ready for painting, and making our final decisions on decor and style of the bar, seats, tables, etc.
We should have our building permit within 1-2 months. Then we have some light demo (3 walls, and we are taking out the ceiling in the roasting works in order to get to the rafters). After that, it should take us about 1-2 months to build it out. We hope to be open at the end of October or beginning of November.
Are you working with craftsmen/women, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
We are very fortunate because Joseph Gerardis (owner of Joebella Coffee Roasters and co-owner of Spearhead Coffee) is a master carpenter with years of knowledge and expertise in construction and carpentry. So, Joseph is/has been overseeing the build-out.
From the start we knew we would be collaborating with the architecture team at LGA , a local firm headed by Larry Gabriel. Larry and Joseph have worked together on several projects in San Luis Obispo County including both Joebella Coffee Roasters’ coffee bars and their new roasting works. Larry and his associates are diligent, flexible and creative.
Our electrician is somewhat of a visionary and artist as well and will be helping us with creative light fixtures and whatnot. His name is John Wommack of Wommack Electric.
Our logo was created by the skillful hand of Jay Klomp of The Red Rocket Rebellion.