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First Look: Kickapoo Coffee Goes Big with New Driftless Roastery

kickapoo coffee new roastery in Viroqua

All photos by Kickapoo Coffee

Kickapoo Coffee in Wisconsin’s Driftless region has moved its sturdy Probat G30 into a new roasting facility, after years of operating in a quaint but undersized space in its hometown Viroqua.

The new facility, representing massive square-footage upgrade from 1,500 to 5,200, was custom designed for the Kickapoo team, which is now roasting about 3,800 pounds per week under 18-foot ceilings. “We were hurting for space,” Kickapoo Co-Owner Caleb Nicholes told Daily Coffee News. “We had been in the same location for the last 6-plus years, which was a very small, albeit cute, historic train depot.”

Kickapoo, a Roast Magazine Roaster of the Year winner in 2010 and Good Food Awards winner in each of the past two years (for its Organic Ethiopian Biloya in 2012, and for an Organic Ethiopian Haru in 2013), has not added any new staff for the new facility and the production schedule has remained steady through the move, but Nicholas says the additional space does allow plenty of room for growth.

It is “an increase in our ability to spread our wings and be so much more efficient,” said Nicholes. “Our ability to grow in this space is obviously much greater.” Asked whether there is a retail component planned for the new digs, Nicholes replied, “No, but we are exploring the idea of something offsite.”

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