Coffee is many different things to different people, and of course those personal relationships with coffee deepen and develop over time. For the young couple Ally Walsh and Casey Wojtalewicz, the pursuit of great coffee has always been a shared joy, although that mutual passion has since developed into the small Los Angeles-based coffee enterprise Canyon Coffee.
Canyon launched just weeks ago, with one single-origin offering that was sourced and roasted in collaboration with roaster James Klapp, a former roaster at L.A.’s Bar Nine. Wojtalewicz met Klapp while working as a barista at Bar Nine, developing a respect for his palate and process in the roastery.
A barista also at Menotti’s Coffee Stop in Venice, Wojtalewicz said he and Walsh are happy to lean on Klapp’s roasting expertise, allowing them to focus more on developing the new brand, which is intently focused on approachable, quality coffee for home brewing.
“We don’t roast ourselves. It really came out of our love for making coffee at home,” Wojtalewicz recently told Daily Coffee News, adding that the Guatemalan coffee selected for the launch was chosen because of it’s adaptability to various popular brew methods and for its appealing yet subtle notes of chocolate and fruit. “We wanted to start with a coffee that tastes really good to people who are in the coffee world, but we also wanted something really palatable.”
Wojtalewicz and Walsh developed their own taste for coffee through their personal and professional travels — Walsh as a model and Wojtalewicz as a touring musician. While they both remain active in those careers, they have also already found a home for Canyon coffee in a couple of LA boutique stores, made inroads for some possible wholesale accounts, and begun selling direct to consumers online.
Appreciating — both personally and from a commercial standpoint — the value of roasted coffee as a lifestyle product, the couple has skillfully marketed the coffee through their own Instagram accounts (Ally, Casey) with 30,000 followers between them, while turning to friend-turned-collaborator Fred I’Ami for designs of the Canyon bags.
“As a new coffee roaster, until people have actually tasted your coffee, your bag has a near-exclusive role in defining you to the world,” Wojtalewicz said. “We wanted our bag for Canyon Coffee to represent all the things coffee has been for Ally and I — something warm to brighten up our mornings at home, that ultimately adds beauty to our lives. And while being an elegant look, we wanted it to be personable, and comfortable to hold.”