Entrepreneur Keegan Street is bringing a new cafe and roastery to downtown Fernie. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Brewing up a fresh cup at Rooftop Coffee Roasters

Years ago, Keegan Street had a dream; start a coffee company. Years later this became a reality, when Rooftop Coffee Roasters produced its first batch of coffee and started to sell their products around Fernie. Now, the dream has grown beyond what Street originally envisioned. Soon the young entrepreneur will open the doors to his own cafe, which will act as both a roastery and a coffee shop.

The new shop, located on 2nd Avenue across from the Fernie Museum, is set to open in January.

“The time was right to finally have our own space where we could serve coffee, roast coffee, and do it all ourselves,” said Rooftop Coffee owner Keegan Street.

When he and his family first started Rooftop in 2016, they opened shop in the industrial area of Fernie near Fernie Brewing Company. Up until this point Street had been roasting just as a hobby on the roof of his family’s home downtown Fernie.

The name of his company came from the rooftop he roasted on growing up – the same building on 2nd Avenue that is above his soon-to-open cafe.

Street’s coffee first appeared in The Valley Social coffee shop, a blend created with the goal of being different; a lighter roast, more specialty oriented. At the time Street roasted coffee with a 5kg machine, in a very small workspace. Now, Street will be able to roast coffee out of the same space he will serve it.

When he first started out, Street was excited to produce 100 pounds of coffee in a week. Now, he’s producing 300-400 pounds out of their new roasting location in the annex. The roastery is set to amalgamate with their cafe in spring 2020. Leading up to this, the space will serve as a cafe and tasting room.

Recently Street’s coffee has found its way into several higher-end coffee shops in Vancouver, Montreal and Regina.

“(These are) shops that are focused on bringing in roasters from around Canada, and really showing what the Canadian coffee scene is,” said Street. “It’s pretty great to be included among those roasters that are spreading around Canada.”

Street explained that his new shop will still serve as a place you can come and quickly grab a coffee to go, however customers will also have the option to sit down and taste several different kinds.

“What we want to start to introduce is more of like (what) the distillery does with their spirits and what the brewery does with their beers,” said Street. “And offer more information (about) how we do things, the whole process behind it.”

To open shop under the home he was raised in, Street said, is quite unbelievable.

“It’s going to be under the rooftop that the company was named after,” he said. “It’s going to be a great story to tell people.”

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