Bottom: Leslie Hatheway, Yaiz Saratxaga, Sarah Deschenes, David Street, Charlize Street and Keegan Street at Rooftop Coffee Roasters on their opening day. Paige Mueller/The Free Press

New cafe for Rooftop Coffee Roasters

Rooftop Coffee Roasters officially opened the doors on their new cafe on December 27.

Owner Keegan Street said that the opening went extremely well. They opened at noon and were “really busy from when we opened and it stayed pretty steady throughout the day.”

The cafe has been a long time coming, said Street. In August, he decided that he wanted to open a cafe on Second Avenue and then “we worked throughout the fall and then the last two weeks were full-out,” he said.

One of the biggest challenges for the young entrepreneur was designing the space. Street compared the process to a huge, challenging puzzle.

“We went through many different iterations of how the bar space would be because you have to predict what the work flow is going to be like so that means deciding where the expresso machine is going to be, where the dishwasher is going to be,” he explained. “But then you have different constraints like the water has to be all on one side or whatnot. So it’s a bit like a puzzle of where things went so that was a bit of a challenge.”

Despite the challenge of fitting all the pieces together, Street said that people who stopped in on opening day were very surprised by the space.

“It’s been a couple of different businesses in the last 10 years,” he said. “So they were mostly surprised to see how the space had changed… and then just excited for a new coffee shop.”

For now, Street is still roasting his coffee at his roastery in the Annex but that is all going to change in the spring when the roastery is moved into the same building as the cafe. It will all be behind clear glass so that people can see the whole roasting process.

“We’re excited to be offering a different coffee experience in Fernie and our roastery is going to be moving into the back of the space in the spring so we’re hoping to make it a full roastery and cafe, almost like a brewery experience but for coffee,” said Street. “It’ll be almost like a tasting room experience.”

For now, the cafe is serving up espresso coffee drinks like lattes and cappuccinos as well as drip coffee and pour over coffees. They also have pastries and cookies to go along with the coffees, including a vegan and gluten free option.

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Rooftop Coffee Roasters is located on Second Avenue in Fernie. Paige Mueller/The Free Press

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