A new brew in Kasson
Members of the Kasson Chamber of Commerce gathered at Trail Creek Coffee Roasters Saturday morning to officially cut the ribbon welcoming the business to the city.
Trail Creek Coffee Roasters is owned by Jim and Crystal Whitmarsh and actually got its start as a cottage food business in 2017.
The Whitmarshs are originally from Michigan, Crystal said, and coffee has always been important to them. Jim had found a video online about roasting coffee in an air popper and they decided to give it a try.
They began to share their coffee with friends and relatives and give roasted coffee as Christmas presents. When they had expanded to three air poppers they decided to buy a small commercial roaster and still roasted the beans in their garage operating under the Minnesota Cottage Food Exemption. The business was so successful that Jim quit his full time job and turned coffee roasting into a full time business.
The business then grew so much that they needed to move from the garage to a separate building, which they did when they rented the old Kasson library building.
They started out selling at farmers markets and other venues as a food concession, including the Rochester Farmers Market, Jim said.
Their licensing from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture also allows them to sell their coffee at other retail establishments and two months ago they got their coffee cart up and running.
They are permitted, he said, to take the cart to a limited number of events each year.
Their ultimate goal, Crystal said, is to have a full coffee shop at the location.
They have also partnered with a local boutique, she said, which shares the building space with the coffee roasters.
They currently sell bags of coffee from their Kasson location as well as at Ferndale Market in Cannon Falls and Figure in Rochester and Dwell Local in Rochester and Zumbrota.
Trail Creek Coffee is also served at Daniels Restaurant and Misplaced Magnolia in Kasson and Caroll’s Corn in Rochester.
Trail Creek Coffee remains a small roaster, the Whitmarshs said. It is considered a micro-roaster, Crystal said, and one roast will yield three 12-ounce bags. That comes to 14 bags an hour, she said.
A couple of times a month, Jim said, he travels to the cities where he buys 150 pound bags of various types of coffee from an importer.
When he gets back to Kasson he breaks the 150 pound bags down into smaller 50 pound bags for roasting.
There are a good number of local Kasson residents stopping by to purchase coffee and there are some who are driving over from Rochester and Dodge Center. Coffee can also be purchased online from their website, trailcreekcoffeeroasters.com.