Why did I become an independent coffee roaster? I had a passion for coffee and a desire to give back to the Bloomington community that raised me. I began roasting coffee beans at home, one pound at a time. As the business grew, so did the opportunity to move back to Bloomington. At that point, I decided I wanted to open a brick mortar coffee shop where beans are roasted fresh so that customers could learn about the roasting process and the people who grow their coffee. I also wanted this location to be a community gathering place, much like many of the coffee shops in Bloomington I used to go to with my dad as a kid.
Being an independent roaster does not mean that I work alone. There are so many amazing people that have helped to make the Needmore Coffee shop a fun and inviting place to hang out. When I was first starting out, my cousin, Matt Anderson, shared his expertise about coffee roasting. Then, when I was ready to start my brick and mortar shop, my dad helped me build it. Now, my employees take pride in doing their best to create delicious coffee and share the farmer’s story with our customers. It is so important to all of us at this independent roastery that our customers know how much work and effort goes into their drink so that they can feel more connected to the people who make their coffee.
While I love being an independent coffee roaster, running my own business can be stressful. When things get extra challenging at work, I just take a moment to appreciate the joys of being in my own coffee shop. I watch the customers interacting with each other, the baristas, and me, and it always gives me a great feeling. Like, I created this! People are here, visiting, creating, and living. I’m a part of helping them have a place to feel safe and welcome. Something that happens regularly that I just love is when children come into the coffee shop (with adults, of course) and head straight to the coffee bar and sit upon the high stools. They are sometimes dressed in costumes (you know how kids do sometimes), they swing their feet, some of them start out shy, but by the end of their visit they are talking to the baristas. It’s a lot of fun!