New Local Roaster Bacca Coffee Prioritizes Ethical Harvesting, Launches Boxed Cold Brew
Operating out of a German Village kitchen, business partners Jared Gibbons and Steven Engel are roasting coffee for the masses. They launched Bacca in March, using an ever-changing lineup of beans to create small batches of “bright, fruity, eccentric, single-origin” coffees. Breaking into the retail market has been a challenge, but that might change as they introduce a new product: boxed cold brew coffee.
“We don’t like the intimidation of coffee lately,” Engel said, “so we’re just trying to have fun with it, and we think this coffee can be in anyone’s hands with zero intimidation about it.”
Engel has been a hobby coffee roaster for eight years, deciding to take it pro at the start of the new year. Having had experience in the craft industry, selling beer with Kindred Artisan Ales in Gahanna, he gained a perspective on consumers that has helped him mold Bacca’s business model.
People like variety and change. A new brew with a slightly different hop is enough to excite the craft beer connoisseur. Knowing this, Engel buys small amounts of beans every few weeks. They have a single roaster which yields small batches, currently available only at the Hills Market Downtown.
Right now Engel and Gibbons have an ongoing series of women-produced coffees. Up until the beans get to their kitchen, they’re only ever touched by women. One batch, from Sumatra, went through the hands of 282 women from two separate co-ops. To support them, Bacca pays a premium above their asking price, which “goes back into the farm, directly into their hands, whether it’s to build hospitals, schools, better tools for the women, anything they would need to keep producing the coffee,” Engel said.
Despite their ethics and artisan approach, Bacca has had a hard time replacing local coffee shops’ current partners. Businesses like to stay loyal to their providers. To help them along, Engel said they’ll soon be entering The Commissary to begin production of a bagged and boxed cold brew, which will bring the luxury of on-tap coffee into people’s homes.
“I think our biggest way in will be these cold brew bags for us to get onto the shelf, because it’s a product that isn’t necessarily like anything else being produced locally for sure,” he said. “Everything is very single serve as far as the cold brew coffee goes.”
Bacca will start production on their cold brew bags in the next few weeks. Until then, their roasts can be found at the Hills Market Downtown, 95 N. Grant Ave.
For more information, visit bacca.coffee.