I am one blessed and thankful business owner!

Headshot

This past weekend I had the opportunity to serve coffee at Journeyman Distillery for the Artisan Market.  As I drove back to our coffee shop after the long day on my feet I was struck by a handful of things, some simple (my feet really hurt!)  and some things requiring more thought and response.  This blog is a result of the things requiring more response.

I love to drive and most of the time when I drive I quickly grow bored with the standard route and so I take lots of detours. Saturday night’s detour involved Flynn road and a mental detour.  As my mind wandered I was caught by the days events mostly marked by the people who walked through the door at Journeyman.  One by one I was greeted by people, some I knew by name, seeing them so regularly over the last three years that I was also greeted with a hug and others I only know by seeing their face regularly in our coffee shop.  But when I take both of those groups of people I already feel very fortunate and blessed to be part of a community that we know as Sawyer, MI.  But my thoughts went on from there…

I met a number of people that I didn’t know at all, that informed me that they had been in our coffee shop even earlier that morning or afternoon and then had come over to Journeyman to check out the Artisan market.  This affected me also, because I realize that I live and own a business in a community that believes in and supports small businesses, not just mine.  I owe all of you a great debt of gratitude for your faithfulness and support over the past three or four years, from coffee sampling in the tap room at Greenbush, to the extreme heat and rain of the two summers of the Coffee Cart and finally to this past summer in our brick and mortar coffee shop, I thank all of you.

There is one final group that blesses me.  This group is our staff, they serve out at the counter, behind the espresso machine and in the back, next to the roaster every day.  Infusco would not be what it is today without each of these individuals and there are not words to express what each of them mean to me personally and how they affect the product that we gather around every day.

Coffee for me is not just a wonderful drink that I love, but a medium that allows me to connect and interact with a community that has been gracious enough to let me join it’s rank and share in its growth. Thank you, thank you and again thank you!

Sincerely,

Rich Siri

Owner / Bean Burner

Infusco Coffee Roasters

Coffee Cupping Event

Last month Infusco held it’s first Coffee Cupping in the shop, and it was a great success! Ticket buyers had a great time exploring the look, feel, and flavor of many different coffee beans and blends. If you came out for this fun evening, Infusco thanks you! If not, be sure to join us next time!

Rich

Smelling

Tasting

Between rounds of coffee tasting, Jeff and Tammi Brown shared about the work they will be doing in Costa Rica, which the coffee cupping helped to support. Ronny and Kari Silva also shared what they will be doing when they return to Peru. You can learn more about both families and their goals in our previous post.

Browns

Silvas

Everyone in attendance was invited into the back room of the shop, where all of Infusco’s beans are roasted. Rich fired up a batch and showed examples of the coffee beans when they are received from the farms, before they are roasted.

Roaster

Coffee Beans

Roasting

After roasting, the beans turn a lovely brown, which was seen at the counter in both whole bean and ground forms during the cupping.

Espresso Beans

Espresso Grounds

Drawing Prize

One lucky winner took home an Infusco shirt and diner mug, both of which are for sale in the coffee shop, and every one enjoyed these delicious snacks and desserts from Bit of Swiss Bakery.

Bit of Swiss

Dessert

Barista Series: Kari

Kari

Q: Where are you from?

A: Here. (Sawyer.)

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working at Infusco?

A: People. The employees I work with and getting to talk to people coming in.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do in the area that you would recommend to people from out of town, or anyone that hasn’t done it?

A: Going hunting for beach glass on the beach.

Q: What’s something big in your life that you’d like to share?

A: I released my first published book! There are copies for sale in the shop, and if I’m working I’ll sign it for you! (Find out more at Kari’s website.)

Q: And your favorite coffee drink?

A: Latte with no flavoring.

Barista Series: Cheryl

Cheryl

Q: Where are you from?

A: Baroda, Michigan.

Q: What is your favorite thing about working at Infusco?

A: The people that come in. I like to build relationships with the regulars.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do in the area that you would recommend to visitors or people who have never done it?

A: Well, for families, at the Saint Joseph bluff there’s the carousel and museum. The Curious Kids Museum is really great, and Discovery Zone is on Silver Beach – it’s for older kids.

Q: What is something big in your life that you’d like to share?

A: August 17-24th I’ll be in Las Vegas for the National Poole Championship! We won a free trip there, room and board, when we won regionals.

Q: What is your favorite coffee drink?

A: A soy hazelnut latte, or a chocolate covered strawberry coffee.

 

Barista Series: Preston

Preston

Q: Where are you from?

A: I’m from Bridgman, MI.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working at Infusco?

A: The people. This job is a great opportunity for my extrovert side to come out. It’s great to talk with people about coffee.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do in the area that you think visitors or anyone who’s never done it should try?

A: Go look at gardens and farms. There’s a lot of use of the land around here. U-pick farms, wine tastings, land-based activities like that.

Q: What’s something big in your life that you’d want to share?

A: I recently started working at a sustainable cow farm that raises 100% grass-fed beef cows. I like the consistency of farm life.

Q: What’s your favorite coffee drink?

A: Light roast chemex brewed coffee. I drink it black.

Join Us: Coffee Cupping

Infusco Coffee Roasters has a very exciting announcement: on July 19th at 7PM, the shop will be hosting it’s first ever coffee cupping event!

What is a coffee cupping, you ask? Much like a wine tasting, a coffee cupping is an event where attendees have the opportunity to try many different varieties of coffee, compare and contrast their differences, and discover which types actually suit each individual the best. Whole beans, grounds, and brewed coffee are available for each variety.

There are a limited number of 50 tickets available for this event. Tickets can be purchased for $30 each by stopping into the Infusco Coffee Shop or calling  (269) 213-JAVA to reserve tickets for pick up before the cupping. Each ticket provides the bearer with entrance to the event, desserts provided, and a small bag of Infusco Coffee for your at-home brewing pleasure. Additionally, each ticket will be entered in a drawing for an Infusco t-shirt and mug!

More exciting, however, is that 100% of the proceeds from this event will go to support local community members – the Brown and Silva families – in their goals. To read more about each of these families and how getting them overseas might benefit Infusco, keep reading. Brown Family

Jeff and Tammi Brown are great friends of the Siris who volunteered time back when the space where coffee is now enjoyed was still just a roasting facility. They are preparing to take their family to San Jose, Costa Rica, where they will work for Reach Global as administrators of Latin American and Caribbean missions. They will also be working with both men and women of all ages who are victims of the sex trafficking industry, which is legal in this part of the world.

You can find out more about the Brown family and their goals at their website.

Silva Family

Ronny and Kari Silva, also good friends of Infusco (you’ll recognize Kari as one of our wonderful baristas!), are raising funding to go as a family on a second trip to the city of Trujillo, Peru. While there, they intend to do church planting among indigenous peoples through the Pioneers missions agency.

For more information on the Silvas and their mission, check out their Facebook group page.

Costa Rica and Peru are both known for their coffee farms, and these families have hopes of discovering farms that might enter into direct trade with Infusco Coffee Roasters! Infusco is working to obtain licensing to trade with other coffee farms, through the gifting of the farm in Kenya. You can find out more about the Kenyan farm in the video below, and in some old blogs written by Rich. Farms the Browns and Silvas discover will likely be similar to this.

 

We hope to see you at the coffee cupping – buy a ticket today!

Cupping Event Poster

The Story

Infusco has been overwhelmed by the support of our loyal friends and families! But for those who are new customers, just discovering our coffee, we want to share the story of Infusco Coffee Roasters with you, too.

Rich’s interest in coffee shops first began way back in 2001, when he was going to school in Mishawaka and visiting Higher Grounds coffee shop in South Bend (no longer in business). Coffee shops in general were pretty new to the SW Michigan/NW Indiana area, but Rich was in youth ministry at the time and thought a coffee shop would be a great place to connect with teenagers. Research was done through Alex Fisenko, who runs a consulting business intended to help individuals get started with their own successful coffee shops. This research revealed that New Carlisle, where Rich and Stacey lived, was not an ideal location for a coffee shop to thrive. Watching coffee shops fail one after another was discouraging. Rich has a  love for tinkering, and as a hobby he had begun roasting coffee in a pizza oven he had converted into a one pound roaster. The concept that a roasting company with it’s own brand of coffee could support a coffee shop in an area like Sawyer began to emerge as a sustainable option.

The one pound roaster made roasting slow going, but it was the convergence of friends that pushed Infusco out the door. Some friends of the Siris were talking about opening a brewery in downtown Sawyer (hm, wondering what that could be?), and their excitement was catching. Other friends, Seth and Shannin Vander Ark, expressed interest in a coffee business, and a partnership began. Meanwhile, Greenbush ordered 30lbs of Infusco coffee to use in their Mr. Hyde Java Cream Stout. Confident that at least this order would come again, Infusco decided to invest in a larger roaster in 2011.

 

Infusco has only grown since then, most recently with the opening of the coffee shop located in downtown Sawyer behind the old fire station. The Vander Arks withdrew from the company in early 2014 due to family complications – if you’d like to read about their journey, you can keep in touch with Shannin’s blog at Don’t Doubt Jack. Meanwhile, Infusco’s vision to provide a delightful coffee experience, build relationships, and be involved in the local Sawyer community while supporting orphans and widows in Kenya remains.

One last thing you might be wondering is, where did the name “Infusco” come from? Rich and Stacey homeschool their three children, and back when the company was getting started the oldest son, Noah, was taking Latin. Stacey realized that the word “infusco” meant “to make dark or blacken,” and when the logo was made the name was to stay. (Another of the Siris’ goals with Infusco is to educate their kids about running a business – Noah even proofread the business plan!)

Come visit soon!

Siri Family