Jimmy Lewis, a longtime Memphis businessman with experience in upscale grocery and real estate, has announced plans to launch Relevant Roasters, a wholesale roastery in the bustling Broad Avenue District.
Lewis says he expects to begin production in a 2,480-square-foot space at 584 Tillman Ave., Suite 1, at the corner of Broad and Tillman this month. While the roastery won’t have an immediate retail component, Lewis says he is targeting other upscale grocery and local coffee shop wholesale accounts.
Lewis was the founder of Memphis’s Squash Blossom health and diet food market, which he sold to Wild Oats Market in 1997, and most recently was a partner in the real estate agency Lewis and Rasberry (now Rasberry CRE). It is rare for a 61-year-old to strike out on his or her own to launch a commercial micro roastery, but Lewis says the decision came after some serious soul-searching while working in the real estate business.
“I decided that it was important to have fulfillment in work, so I asked myself what that would look like, and went through a series of exercises that had to do with desire,” Lewis, a yoga practitioner, said in statement. “What emerged was I loved the coffee culture. I loved preparing wonderful coffee and I thought the coffee being produced locally could be improved upon.”
Relevant’s stated goal is simple and ambitious:
Our goal is to prepare the highest quality coffee roasted in Memphis. We are focused on innovation, excellence, and environmental sustainability. By reducing the time between roasting and drinking, we provide delicious coffee and memorable experiences.