Independent Espresso: On Wheels and Wings

One thing that we really love about the world of coffee is its diverse economic lifecycle: It’s putting food on the table and roofs over the heads of millions of people, from its cultivation through its brewing. A rather rich and unique dimension of this portrait is that of the small espresso or coffee shop — and we found a couple of examples of really cool independent businesses that are worth checking out.

First up, Redeye Roasters in Hingham, MA. Based out of a brightly colored truck, Bob Weeks founded his java-on-wheels when he elected to change up careers and get out of the advertising business. In 2006, he started roasting his own beans out of his house and in the subsequent three years has grown to distributing them in specialty groceries around the Boston area. This excellent profile goes into detail on Redeye’s past and present.

Another great little operation we ran across is the Celtic-influenced White Horse Coffee and Tea Co. in Sutherlin, OR. Owner Kristin Lusk has been roasting and brewing coffee and teas to an exotic bird aviary backdrop for the last 11 years — and you can balance their Kilted Ladies of Hell blend with a cinnamon roll that measures 10 inches across! She’s been taking in “stray” exotic birds like cockatiels and parrots so often that her roost has expanded to nearly 100 birds.

If you live close to either of these businesses and have had the chance to sample their goods, let us know what you think!

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