California Wake-Up Call: SLO Roast Coffees

 

In 1984 Norman and Gail Galloway owned retirement businesses — a Cayucos apartment complex and Morro Bay floral shop. So partnering with their friend Jerry Winnowski to purchase a coffee business in Baywood wasn’t a stretch, however, the learning curve was steep. Norman read profusely, interrogated coffee reps, and worked long hours testing coffees before he discovered Central Coast Coffee Roasting Company’s signature secret.

“Once the beans are roasted,” said daughter Julie Galloway, who is spokesperson for their family business, “we let them sit a couple days so the natural sugars come in. We call it seasoning time. Dad used to roast late into the night – maybe 50 to 1,000 pounds a night. With the equipment we have today, we can roast a batch in 18 to 26 minutes or three times more in a day.”

In 2000 the Los Osos-based company moved from their smaller warehouse on Los Olivos to a 7,000 square-foot pristine roasting and packaging warehouse at 1172 Los Olivos.

“We grew up working the business,” said Julie. Today twelve employees including her husband, Paul Miller, her brother Chris and his son, Eric, roast, blend, and package 140 varieties of regular, decaf, holiday and blended coffees under the labels SLO Roasted Coffee, Baywood Exotic Flavored Coffee and Walker/Hupp Signature Blend benefitting camperships for Headwaters Outdoor School. They ship worldwide and deliver five days a week to retail outlets from Paso Robles to Carpentaria.

The Galloways choose to purchase their fair trade organically grown beans from Royal Coffee of Emoryville. Their supplier personally inspects the coffee plantations assessing the health of the operations. And they sample the coffee beans before they purchase complete crops to wholesale.

Their company’s chief roaster, Adam Boyd, was imported from Hawaii. He joined them thirteen years ago. “He can tell from the beans crackling in the 400-degree roaster where they are in the roasting process,” explained Julie.

The deep chocolate-cherry colored beans then go into an environmentally secured after-burner to take out any particulates. Once cooled and “seasoned” in bins for two days – the time for full flavors and smells to emerge — they are package. Packaging is fully automatic including the folding and labeling in sized bags.

“Customers favorites are anything with vanilla,” said Julie. “Dad is really good at naming the coffees — romantic names like Hawaiian Affair Hazel Nut. He renamed our German Blend calling it Darn Good Coffee. It now flies off the shelf.”

Julie recapped, “We’re local – always fresh. We sell retail at the warehouse, have gift packages, and offer group tours. We recycle. Coffee chaff makes great compost.”

Details and mail order instructions are at www.sloroasted.com

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