Many people who step into the Electric Brew in Goshen are unaware of the magic happening in the coffee shop’s basement.
Owner Myron Bontrager began roasting coffee in 2008, just before the recession hit. He invested $4,000 in a used roaster – a gamble that ended up being a wise business move.
During the lean years following the recession, roasting beans allowed the Brew to be in control of their coffee’s cost, freshness, and quality.
If you get a chance to talk with Myron about coffee, you’ll learn a lot. He is a man who is passionate about his work.
He and his family lived for a year in Costa Rica.
“I would walk the streets of San Jose and smell coffee roasting,” he said.
The memory of the smell of roasting beans stuck with Myron and prompted him and his family to buy the Electric Brew twelve years ago.
When creating their house blend called Bald Brother’s, Myron used two distinct coffees “because when you take two distinct coffees and blend them together, it can be a really great product,” he said.
A Sumatran roast from Indonesia that is robust and earthy is blended with a Central American bean, which adds a softer, chocolatey with a hint of berry flavor.
“So we have the Central American dominate with the Indonesian filling out the bottom,” Myron said, describing their go-to house blend, Bald Brothers.
Bald Brother’s coffee is what Myron refers to as a “coffee with a story.”
For the past five years, Myron has been working to establish relationships with the farmers who supply the beans he roasts.
When you purchase a cup of Bald Brothers coffee, you are supporting 372 women-owned coffee farms in Indonesia. The co-op of farmers in Sumatra had to get permission from their husbands because Muslim women are not allowed to own property or have a business.
Today, their women-only co-op trains members in economics, agriculture, future planning, and how to be community leaders.
Myron and his wife just returned from a trip where they met with farmers.
“It was a great experience of sitting there with people who are changing their world. One woman said, ‘I am figuring out how to pass this on to my daughter. We want to pass this on to our daughters.’”
For Myron, Bald Brothers coffee is an example of relationships.
“Relationships are extremely important to us. If we lose them, we die,” he said. “But if we care about relationships here, then we better care about relationships there (around the globe). And if we don’t, we’re simply a bit hypocritical. That’s a basic foundation in the way we operate at the Electric Brew.”
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Relationships are extremely important to us. If we lose them, we die. But if we care about relationships here, then we better care about relationships there (around the globe). And if we don’t, we’re simply a bit hypocritical. That’s a basic foundation in the way we operate at the Electric Brew