Caffe Apropos Celebrates 10 Years in Harrison West
Caffe Apropos has been a staple hangout in Harrison West for a decade now, serving up coffees, espressos, breakfast, lunch, snacks, wine, beer and more to residents who gather at the cozy intersection of Third and Michigan. But what you may not realize is that owner Anton Wood has his own roaster tucked away in a small warehouse located directly behind the building, separated by a very small walk through a utilitarian courtyard. Possibly, one of the shortest commutes for a roaster located outside the cafe.
We recently got a sneak peak tour of the operations and spoke to Anton about his passion for roasting. Our full Q&A can be found below:
Q: First, can you tell us a bit about the history of Caffe Apropos for those who are unfamiliar?
A: Caffe Apropos first opened its doors in April of 2004. This area in Harrison West showed promise of gentrification as old warehouse buildings along 1st Avenue were slated for tear down and new homes and condos to be built. The timing was perfect for our little corner of Michigan and W. 3rd. In fact Apropos means “perfect timing or opportunity”.
Q: When did you first start roasting your own coffee beans, and what got you interested in roasting your own for the cafe?
A: In early 2000 my interest in roasting hatched from my desire to roast my own personal stash for the simple purpose of “it doesn’t get any fresher than that”. I purchased a small home roasting unit from a television commercial I’d seen for a unit called Zack and Dani’s. It started becoming a great hobby. In 2002 I created an online web business called www.thebeanstock.com which caters to home micro coffee roasters like me. We break down the large gunny sacks of coffee into smaller 1, 2, 5, or 20 pound bags of green coffee and the site also sells miscellaneous coffee ware including small roasters. We purchased a very small batch roaster (three pounds at a time) and started offering roasted coffee as well on the website.
Q: Do you primarily serve the Victorian Village and Harrison West neighborhoods, or do you see Apropos as a destination with customers from a larger portion of Columbus?
A: I’m pleased to say that Columbus has been very kind and generous to us and we have customers from all over. Of course we are more than a coffee shop and roastery. We are more like a café on steroids. We also have spirits, beer, and a great little wine boutique with over 750 different wines. There is never a corking fee so you can buy a bottle and carry out or drink it in our cozy shop. Most of the year our outdoor patio is open and everyone seems to love hanging out outside.
Q: What new coffee trends or drink trends are you most interested in or excited about?
A: I must say that I have seen a really large growth in the number of people roasting their own coffee at home. We sell green coffee all over the world now and I would never have guessed how many people are doing it these days. It’s very exciting to see these new little roasters coming to the market. Cowboy cook’n jokes aside… they roast every bit as good as the big boys.
For more information, visit www.caffeapropos.com.
From February 3rd to February 9th, Columbus Underground is celebrating Coffee Week 2014! Throughout the week, we’ll be taking a look at various coffee shops, roasters, brands, businesses and the people that contribute to this rapidly growing local movement.
Coffee Week 2014 is presented by our friends Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea, providing handcrafted coffee to Columbus, OH since 1991. Follow them on Facebook or Twitter for more information.
Coffee Week supporting sponsorship by Stauf’s Coffee Roasters.