By Dean Vaglia
Leader Staff Writer
For nearly a year White Pine Coffee Roasters has imported, prepared and sold specialty coffee beans at its Village of Oxford factory for home brewing. And, as of May 3, White Pine’s beans are available to drink at its on-site cafe.
“It is our first cafe,” Brad Kopek, White Pine Coffee Roasters co-owner, said. “We have been a wholesale roaster … since 2014.”
Located inside a 1910s grist mill at 33 Pleasant St., White Pine’s cafe is a well-sized space with an arcadian atmosphere. While the wooden walls and furnishings combine with the light industrial exterior to create an atmosphere fitting of the lumberjack imagery found across White Pine’s branding, nothing cements the rustic feel more than the 1916 grain silo installed for original proprietors M.A. Kamm Feed and Grain.
“We decided after about three visits that it was a building we could not pass on because of the trail, the community and the historical nature of the building itself,” Kopek said. “It is like it was developed specifically for our branding. It really is a good fit.”
Just past the cafe counter is the roastery itself. Owners Kopek and Bryan Megack pour beans into roasters in one room and prepare cold brew in another. Beans come from all around the “coffee belt,” a large swath between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn where coffee is grown. Once roasted, similar beans are either mixed together to make a blend or beans from a single farm kept together and sold as a “lumber baron’s reserve” single origin specialty.
“Basically [single origins are] one genetic variety with one processing method from one farmer, and from one harvest cycle,” Kopek said. “You can think of those as limited edition coffees. We only have them for a short period of time. Once they are gone, we will never have them again unless we buy them again the next year because coffee is a seasonally harvested crop.”
Cafe patrons can order cups of White Pine’s blends and available single origin coffee alongside pastries from Fenton-based bakery Crust and coffee-based concoctions like Crackalacka Cold Brew Slushies. The cafe sits alongside the Polly Ann Trail and Kopek says there are plans to sell mixed nuts, cheese sticks and other food items catering to trail users.
“We want to encourage both people that are coming to have their daily coffee routine and the true cafe experience,” Kopek said. “But we are also going to highlight and offer things for the trail, for all the bikers and people coming through that want a little boost of protein and hydration.”
The cafe’s hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Kopek says the hours will expand in the future.
By Dean Vaglia