Now significantly bigger in Big Sky Country is Clyde Coffee, which held a grand reopening this month inside its new coffee shop with a patio, full kitchen and a bright white 12-kilo Probat roasting machine in Missoula, Montana.
A white Synesso S300 espresso machine echoes the production machine, while a white manufactured quartz bar top is streaked with bold black veins and a matching backsplash.
The refinement of those surfaces stand in contrast to the relative rawness of the cafe’s custom plywood tables and chairs, and the concrete-surfaced patio tables, whose design was inspired by American artist of Donald Judd.
“[Judd] thought that by working with really minimal, simple shapes and humble materials like concrete and plywood, it lets this space speak in a way that, when your furniture is a lot louder, or your finishes are a lot busier, can get lost,” Clyde Coffee Owner Glenda Bradshaw told Daily Coffee News. “Our use of this plywood does really enhance the natural space, which is also beautiful because it’s just a wall of windows on two sides. As standalone pieces of furniture, they’re really interesting to look at; it all just feels very harmonious.”
Created as a single, 1,800-square-foot cafe in Missoula in 2015, Clyde now occupies some 3,300 square feet of production and guest space, including the new kitchen, where freshness and simplicity take precedence.
“There’s not a lot of options at Clyde, but anything you get is a perfect version of that thing,” Bradshaw told DCN. “We do a lot of vegan and vegetarian and gluten-free, but we are not a vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free cafe. It tends more towards simplicity and healthfulness.”
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Clyde formerly secured its roasted beans through Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Cirque Coffee. The new roasting program is being led by Head Roaster Sanders Smith, who plans to lead the charge into retail once the cafe operations are running smoothly. The company’s roasting and sourcing philosophy, meanwhile, is not as black and white as the shop’s interior design.
“We feel like coffee roasting is not binary; it’s not a one-or-zero, light fruity bright and barely-roasted or burned,” said Bradshaw. “I personally don’t buy into the modern thought that the only way to make coffee delicious is to lightly roast it. I’m a wine drinker, and the idea that modern coffee has to be roasted one way would be like the equivalent in the wine business of saying that only unfiltered wine should be created and consumed. I don’t believe that. There’s a continuum of things that you can do with a grape, or with a coffee bean.”