Shotgun House Coffee Roasters has come a long way from the screened-in front porch of the shotgun-style house where co-founders Eddie Laughlin and Jessica Callery first fired up a Buckeye BC-2 2-kilo roasting machine. After an approximately six-month buildout of a former crossfit gym space inside San Antonio’s Warehouse 5 complex, the company has reloaded with new gear and expanded offerings in a 1,500-square-foot roastery cafe.
“We had a lot of work to do before we were ready to open,” Laughlin told Daily Coffee News. “I knew I wanted a coffee bar and roasting space, so I hired my friend Victor Montez to help build the 16-foot butcher-block coffee bar, which took over a month to finish. We put an espresso finish on the bar with Texas cedar on the front for a raw, cabin-like feel. Does anything smell better than wood and coffee?”
The warm and inviting industrial-style space also now includes a cozy reading nook in one corner stocked with books from Laughlin’s home collection, as well as other furnishings built by a neighboring business within the former uniform factory turned hub for creative businesses. From the high ceiling, a large hanging retail shelf is suspended in the center of the space, holding bagged whole beans, as well as some leafy, green plant life.
Natural beauty also abounds outside the cafe’s door, along the pebbly banks of the Alazan Creek. The city, according to Laughlin, is currently preparing to break ground on bike trails, lighting and access points which will connect to the Mission Reach of the San Antonio Riverwalk. Said Laughlin, “We’re expecting this to be a huge boost to Warehouse 5 and the traditionally underserved West San Antonio.”
Roasting has expanded with a 6-pound-capacity San Franciscan machine, visible to patrons in the cafe. On the bar, grinding by Bunn and Eureka precede brew and espresso — the former conducted by way of Fetco and by hand, and the latter on a two-group Rocket Boxer. Coffees for the venture come mostly from La Bodega at this point, as its 50-pound portions grant the start-up the flexibility to access a variety of origins and learn its way around the nuances of each.
“We always want a sweet, clean cup of coffee,” said Laughlin. “Whether we’re trying to bring out rich, chocolate notes, or bright, floral acidity, the ultimate goal is for the cup to taste clean, sweet, and intentional.”
Having scaled up into the new cafe and equipment less than two months ago, Laughlin said a formal launch of the company’s wholesale program is still forthcoming, although they’ve quietly started taking on accounts and definitely plan to grow in that direction going forward.
“We’re a small operation, currently five baristas and two owners, and aren’t looking to expand overnight,” said Laughlin. “Our immediate plan is to create a space our customers and employees love, add some events to the schedule — movie night, ping pong tournaments, art pop-ups — and jumpstart our wholesale operation. The Warehouse 5 location will always be our roastery and flagship location, but we’d love to offer our coffee to the rest of San Antonio.”
Shotgun House Coffee Roasters is located at 1333 Buena Vista St. in San Antonio, Texas.