After finding early success with their first flagship multiroaster café, Methodical Coffee in Greenville, S.C., is planning to launch roasting operations and a cold brewery, with an eye toward regional and national wholesale development.
Methodical founders Marco Suarez, David Baker and Will Shurtz have partnered with investors Mike Okupinski and Ed Buffington of Greenville’s Community Tap — a craft beer and wine purveyor — to develop the new Methodical roastery in a 4,000-square-foot space at 3 McBeth St. in Greenville.
With a Diedrich IR-12 production roaster and a Quest M3 sample roaster, the new Methodical production headquarters will also include space for bottling and packaging a new cold brew line, a training lab for Methodical baristas and some kind of retail component that allows for education and tasting programming with the public, according to Shurtz, who will be leading the company’s coffee operations, including roasting.
“We knew we wanted to do this even before we opened our shop, and I’ve always wanted be a part of the roasting industry, but really wasn’t sure it would actually become a thing,” Shurtz told Daily Coffee News, adding that the roasting plan came together quicker than anticipated due to the success of Methodical’s café, which opened in February of last year. Shurtz said the café will continue with a multiroaster approach, while simply adding Methodical coffees to the rotation, which at the moment includes Onyx Coffee Lab, Parlor Coffee, Huckleberry Roasters, Ceremony Coffee Roasters and Steadfast Coffee.
Shurtz said Methodical’s wholesale roasting partners have all been extremely supportive of Methodical’s plan to begin roasting its own. “When I told them we were roasting, they were awesome,” Shurtz said, adding that Nashville’s Steadfast even invited him to apprentice a bit behind their own Diedrich IR-12. “I love the idea of staying a multiroaster shop just because of all the cool relationships we’ve built with these people across the country. And it’s kind of given us a better idea of what we want our coffee to taste like.”
Much to Shurtz’ excitement, Methodical’s matte black, brass plated roaster is currently being shipped to Greenville, where he expects to begin seasoning by the middle of this month, sampling innumerable coffees and hopefully having coffees ready for bags this summer. While Methodical is only now reaching out to importers for sourcing relationships, Shurtz said S.C.-based Ally Coffee Merchants and Minneapolis-based Cafe Imports will most certainly be among the initial partners.
“I’m pumped about forming relationships with importers,” Shurtz said. “We’ll probably try to shoot at first for coffees that are scoring in the high 80s. I still really tend to like African coffees. I like lightly roasted coffees with a lot of acidity, so I want to do that, but I don’t want to try to impose my own ideas about how a coffee should be if it could be roasted in a way that makes that coffee better. I never want to be a reason why the coffee tastes bad if it started out great in the first place.”
Shurtz added that Methodical is likely to focus largely on single-origin offerings while also developing some signature or rotating blends. “We’ll have at least one blend, probably two. I’ve had some great blends that are just a couple African [coffees],” Shurtz said. “If I have eight coffees, I’ll probably try to play around with all eight of them every way I can to see if there’s a winner in there.”
While Shurtz said there is potential for additional Methodical retail locations down the road, the team is for the moment occupied with pulling the roastery and brewery together. “We want to make sure we do our roasting really well before we look at expanding any more,” Shurtz said. “Our space right now is pretty bare bones because we’re trying to put all our money into our equipment and our green coffee and our packaging.”