The small Colorado city of Durango may have one fewer namesake coffee shop in town, although with a brand facelift, one local coffee company is now at least más hermosa.
The ownership team behind a shop called Durango Roasters has transitioned the business fully into a new brand and menu, opening Hermosa Coffee Roasters last month in Durango. The approximately 2,000-square-foot cafe is co-owned by Scott Biaggi, Matt Pobloske, and married business partners Teresa and Rod Peters.
It was the latter duo that recently partnered with Tucson, Arizona-based startup Hermosa Coffee Roasters and decided to apply the brand to the Durango cafe. Teresa Peters recently told Daily Coffee News that with her 30 years’ experience in specialty coffee, she sensed it was a good time to freshen things up.
“We found that we had shared goals and vision, which led to the partnership to build out the Hermosa Coffee Roasters as a brand and cafe presence [in Tucson],” Peters said, noting that the first Tuscon shop opened last year. “We are now building out a second location in downtown Tucson, in the historic 4th Avenue District.”
Meanwhile in Colorado, the Hermosa’s exposed brick walls, wood floors, vintage furniture and saw-marked wooden tabletops maintain the rugged Old West spirit of Durango, which attracts tourists with its historical and cultural heritage, access to outdoor recreation, a railroad museum and more. Yet it also incorporates the black-and-white artwork and a few other attributes of the company’s previous identity.
In transitioning from Durango Roasters to Hermosa, the cafe’s menu was revamped and its staff re-trained. A local pastry chef and baker delivers high-quality scratch-made baked goods, sandwiches and salads. The space was designed to encourage socializing on one end, while offering a quieter vibe in the back. Craft beer is currently available, and Peters said a cocktail and mocktail program is in the works.
“This will also provide for a menu geared toward night time hours and activities, which could include live music, poetry, etc,” said Peters, adding that a large deck in the back of the building is also on the list of upcoming projects.
Improvements have also been considered behind the bar for workers’ sake. A focus of the new layout was to achieve greater service efficiency by tightening up the space between the point of sale and the espresso prep area.
“The old space required about six to eight steps, and the new space is one step,” said Peters. “We placed all appliances within one step.”
Hermosa has intentionally carried over some beans and roast profiles from the Durango Roasters days. Those beans are now roasted on a 25-kilo Probat GL25 in a roasting facility in Hayward, Wisconsin, that also roasts for the Peters’ two Wisconsin cafes, Backroads Coffee and Hayward Coffee Company. Roasting for Hermosa in Arizona occurs on a 10-kilo Sasa Samiac in Tucson.
“We have retrofitted our Tucson Sasa Samiac roaster and have installed Cropster to map and dial in our roast profiles,” said Peters. “We are in the process of retrofitting our Probat and installing Cropster, so that both roasteries can dial in and replicate precise roasting profiles for our single-origin coffees, as well as for our blends.”
As Hermosa is soon to become a distributor for Slayer, Peters said the plan is to eventually install Slayer Steam machines in place of the Tucson cafe’s current 2-group La Marzocco Strada EP and the Durango shop’s 3-group Linea PB. While acknowledging that Hermosa’s mission and values are aligned with the collection of principles generally referred to as “Third Wave,” Peters said that the company’s goal isn’t to seize upon buzzwords, but rather to have a positive impact in the communities it serves, and from which it sources.
“Our approach is simple,” said Peters. “Source from innovative farmers that follow sustainable practices and enrich their communities; small-batch-roast our coffees with extreme care; share those coffees with our own communities; rinse and repeat.”
Hermosa Coffee Roasters is located at 738 Main Ave in Durango.