That alone is news, but the bigger news may be the fact that the two-year-old coffee company led by a mix of coffee industry veterans and entrepreneurs is opening the roastery up to their colleagues, offering time-share plans plus consulting services.
What immediately comes to mind is Pulley Collective, also in Brooklyn (Red Hook), the three-year-old time-share and roasting business incubator space founded by Steve Mierisch after he set up Intelligentsia Coffee‘s East Coast training lab. Pulley’s tenants have included some big names in New York coffee, including Joe and Ninth Street Espresso. Another of those names is City of Saints.
“Our idea with the roasting facility was really born out of our relationship with Steve with Pulley,” City of Saints’ Troy Waller recently told Daily Coffee News. “We have a good relationship with Steve — we’re not trying to do anything behind his back — but Steve’s capacity is generally full most of the time.”
In a way, City of Saints and its new roastery represent one of Pulley’s incubation success stories. Roaster and buyer Joe Palozzi began roasting for CoS at the Pulley facility, supplying the company’s two existing retail locations (one in Hoboken, N.J., and the other in the East Village), as well as a core group of wholesale clients.
Waller says CoS has additional growth plans both in retail and wholesale. Those plans may eventually require full-time use of the Bushwick roastery, but until then, the company hopes to use the space to help smaller roasters find their footing.
The list of services, which can be picked from a la carte depending on a client’s needs, includes green bean storage; sample roaster access; hourly or half-day production-roasting slots; weigh-and-fill packaging equipment plus heat-sealing machines; sampling and quality control supplies, including espresso-brewing equipment; cold storage; and wi-fi access. Additionally, CoS has recently brought on board Jim Osborne, formerly of Cursive Coffee in Vermont, who can be available with Palozzi for consultation or any number of roasting services.
Waller says City of Saints is likely to be offering such time-share services for at least the next year as its own business develops.
“Our model is not necessarily the same as other third-wave roasters,” he says. “The bulk of our 130,000 pounds right now is going between two wholesale customers and our retail stores. That’s not the kind of business that generates itself overnight, and we don’t think our capacity is going to be filled in the next 12-month period.”
It could be easy to confuse this time-sharing concept with contract roasting, but Waller says CoS hopes to build off the spirit of collegiality he says Mierisch has managed to acheive at Pulley.
“The one thing that kind of struck us at Pulley, although we compete with other coffee companies, we really felt like there was a lot of camaraderie,” he says. “We felt like this would be a great opportunity to come in and add value to the whole specialty coffee industry in our market.”
As the CoS time-share concept develops, look for the company to add a branded storefront and full espresso/coffee bar to the facility at 299 Meserole Street.