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Coffee Roaster Opens In Old High School

Coffee roasting businesses have a remarkable ability to conform to interesting spaces. Take 44 North Coffee, which opened in the Seamark Building in Deer Isle, Maine, last year roasting fair-trade organic beans from Nicaragua, Sumatra, Ethiopia, Columbia and Uganda.

The Seamark building is an abandoned school building, and 44 North Coffee owners Melissa Raftery and Megan Dewey-Wood have set up the roasting shop in the former principal’s office, according to a Bangor Daily News report. 44 North offers seven roasts on the ground floor, and an upstairs room has been converted into a coffee bar.

“Megan and I figured out that was the big thing we both loved,” said Raftery. “We would order beans from a bunch of roasteries from all over the country. It was a winter hobby. Eventually, though, you have to find a way that you can stay on the island and make a living. And that’s when we decided to give coffee a shot.”

The owners knew they wanted to deal only with fair-trade, so they’ve begun taking trips to meet their bean sources.

“We knew before we even started that having it be fair-trade was something we had to do, because we know what a difficult process raising and harvesting coffee is,” Dewey-Wood told the paper. “We’ve seen the process. It’s an amazing amount of work. And going to farms and establishing a direct-buyer relationship with them is a great thing to do during January in Maine. It’s nice to have a reason to go someplace warm.”

For the full story: Bangor Daily News



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