Independent coffee roasters excite San Francisco


Niki King Fredel

Coffee art from Andytown Coffee Roasters.

Mara Pleasure , Staff Writer

Four dollar lattes and ten minute waits for drip coffee may seem like a waste, but before you write off these independent roasters, listen to why they got involved in in coffee in the first place. Small coffee shops have been popping up all over the Bay Area in the past few years. But what makes these coffee shop owners open up their own businesses in the first place? What is the allure of roasting one’s own beans and sourcing the customers coffee from bean to cup?

Buffy Maguire and her husband own the coffee shop Beachside Café, on 48th and Judah Street. Maguire’s start in the coffee shop world was backwards, as her husband started the widely popular Java Beach Café, at the corner of La Playa and Judah, which is also where they met. Maguire wanted to open up her own version of Java Beach after she fell in love with the coffee shop atmosphere. She said, “the thing that is so lovely about a coffee shop is that it is an extension of your family.” So when Maguire opened up Beachside Café in 2011, her hope was to create a place to sell more experimental and lighter-roasted beans. Now Maguire finds herself attending coffee conferences and visiting other independent coffee shops for inspiration.

Andytown Coffee Roasters, located on 43rd and Lawton Street, just opened up a little over nine months ago. Already, lines are out the door. Lauren Crabbe, the co-owner, majored in journalism, but it was her first job as a barista where she found her real love for coffee. Crabbe said, “I wanted to be in coffee in further ways than being a barista,” so she and her husband, Michael, started Andytown in March of 2014. From the start, Crabbe said they roasted their own beans. “It is really important for me to understand where my coffee is coming from,” Crabbe said. “If you are using someone else’s beans, you lose the transparency.”

Eileen Hassi Rinaldi, the owner and founder of Ritual Coffee Roasters, was inspired to enter the coffee business after living in Switzerland. She said, “I just really loved the café culture there,” so she started managing a café back in the United States because. “I fell in love with the business … I loved being a part of people’s day,” said Rinaldi. “It was always part of the plan to roast my own coffee.” So far, Ritual Coffee shops are located in Hayes Valley, the Mission, and Bayview, but Ritual is set to open up a coffee shop next year on Haight and Central Street, a few blocks from Urban.