For some coffee lovers in New Braunfels, Texas, every day is Friday.
Those people have been enjoying the fruits of a new woman-owned roasting company called Friday Coffee Roasters, which has set up shop in between Austin and San Antonio with a 12-kilo US Roaster Corp machine and a 1-pound electric sample roaster.
“I just couldn’t pass it up,” owner and roaster Shannon McIntush told Daily Coffee News of the unexpected opportunity to purchase a turnkey roasting operation that came her way last year. “The name was inspired by the fact that everyone looks forward to Friday, and also by a group of fantastic women who I used to meet with every Friday for coffee.”
From her 800-square-foot roastery building not far from downtown, McIntush puts skills to work that were honed over years of experimentation with roasting at first in her home oven and later in a popcorn popper. The courageousness of the sudden investment was also in keeping with the advice of her late grandfather, artist Frank Higgins, whose paintings and drawings are featured on Friday’s labels and packaging.
A cartographer by trade, Higgins drew contour maps by hand for the United States Army in Washington, DC, and San Antonio prior to turning to more freely creative art (and golf) upon his retirement. The former yielded some striking works, and lead to several showings in various gallery and academic settings in the 1980s and 90s. He passed away in 2005 at the age of 92.
“When people would make any comment doubting their own ability to create art, he would always say, ‘Nonsense, anyone can do this, just start drawing,'” said McIntush. “In that way, he was part of my inspiration to ‘just do it’ when starting this business.”
McIntush has taken to the art of roasting with green coffees sourced through InterAmerican Coffee and the goal of delivering balanced compositions.
“I want to create beautiful medium roasts that bring out the unique body and sweetness of the different origins,” said McIntush. “I have learned so much about coffee in the last year, and as any experienced roaster will tell you, I have so much more to learn.”
An office at the front of the roasting facility has been refashioned into a tasting room for prospective wholesale customers. A 1,200-square-foot historic home on the same property has the makings for a potential cafe, although McIntush said it would require a major remodel and there’s currently no intention to go down that road.
Instead, Friday’s focus will continue to be on wholesale and bagged retail beans, the latter of which is soon to be supported by an online retail store.
“I would like to bring on an apprentice roaster so that I can scale up production and focus on the retail side of things, and maybe have time for an origin trip here and there,” said McIntush. “I have had such a positive response from the local community. I am looking forward to seeing where this adventure takes me.”