Coffee roaster runs small batches to enhance freshnesss

Coffee roaster runs small batches to enhance freshnesss

May 20th, 2011 by Casey Phillips in Business Around the Region

Evelyn Wheeler pours a mix of coffee beans for a French roast into the coffee roaster inside of the Chattanooga Coffee Co. Roasting Studio on Broad Street in Chattanooga. Wheeler said that she loves the deep color of the beans in the French roast. Staff Photo by Jenna Walker/Chattanooga Times Free Press

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• What: Fresh-roasted artisan coffee

• Company: Chattanooga Coffee Co.

• Address: Chattz Coffee (1010 Market St. and 2627 Broad St.)

• Website: www.chattanoogacoffeecompany.com

• Telephone: 756-8890 / 665-2627

• Owners: Evelyn Wheeler and Eileen Mason

• What's special: Chattanooga Coffee Co. roasts high-quality beans in small batches and cycles out inventory every three days to provide customers the freshest coffee possible.

• The origin story: Wheeler and her business partner, Mason, originally ran a tour company dealing primarily in the Middle East. When the State Department issued travel warnings following the events of Sept. 11, 2001, however, they realized they needed an alternate revenue stream. In 2002, they started the Chattanooga Coffee Co. in Chattanooga rather than Mason's residence in Oregon to take advantage of a less coffee-saturated market.

• Where it's available: Local markets and about 30 cafes and delis, including Delta Queen Steamboat Co., Easy Bistro, St. John's Restaurant, Stone Fort Inn and Greenlife Grocery

• Plans: CCC moved its roaster to a Broad Street facility in 2009. In March 2010, it opened a new cafe in that facility to accompany the Chattz Coffee shop on Market Street. "Because that quantum leaped things for us, we're trying to get our feet back on the ground," Wheeler said. "We don't want to go faster than we can manage."

• Lessons of the trade: "You need the right mix of people. You have to be able to impart your vision to the people you trust your company to," Wheeler said. "We've learned you have to measure what you're able to do and be careful as you do it that the people in the mix have the vision and the clarity necessary to represent what you've created."