The North Market is already one of the city’s biggest destinations for local food festivals, hosting everything from Grillmasters to Brewmasters and Ohio Wineries to Fiery Foods. This weekend we’ll see the addition of the newest festival: The North Market Coffee Roast, where local roasteries will be showcasing their finest beans, techniques and more.
The management team at the North Market is always evaluating its existing festival lineup and considering new ways to tap into food trends to create unique experiences at the market.
“David Wible (Executive Director of the North Market) and I had discussed the potential of some sort of coffee festival at least five years ago,” explains Mary Martineau, Director of Marketing for the North Market. ”So we mentioned it to Ann Leonard, owner of A Touch of Earth way back then.”
A Touch of Earth is the resident coffee shop located inside the North Market, and this partnership became the impetus for what would become this new festival. Leonard utilized her contacts in the community to reach out to local roasters for participation.
“The coffee scene in Columbus is evolving and growing,” says A Touch of Earth General Manager Shawn Slivinski. “There are new brewing methods and barista technics and lingo, and many new roasters are emerging and opening up new shops.”
The North Market is known as a place of connectivity for food in Columbus, and that includes events involving local chefs, farmers, foodies, brewers, wineries, bakers and anyone else taking the culinary realm to new heights. The inclusion of a coffee roasting festival feels like a good fit to its organizers.
“I think that the Coffee Roast will create even more camaraderie and inter-connectivity among the Columbus roasting community,” says Martineau. “Just as I believe the Microbrew Festival has done within the local microbrew community.”
Slivinski also sees this as a great opportunity to help educate the coffee-drinking consumer.
“Hopefully it will also put Columbus on the map in the specialty coffee world,” he adds. “I think we are overlooked.”
The North Market Coffee Roast couldn’t be arriving at a better time. In addition to seasoned veterans including Crimson Cup, Café Brioso, Luck Bros’, Stauf’s and Impero, there are a slew of new roasters on the scene, such as Backroom Coffee Roasters, Upper Cup Coffee and Thunderkiss Coffee, as well as some lesser-known Ohio roasters such as One Line Coffee and Silver Bridge Coffee. All of which will be represented at the festival on Saturday.
“The public response to just the idea of a Coffee Roast was remarkable,” says Martineau. “Bits of information were floating out there early and I started getting inquiries about it from people who were just interested in attending.”
Attendees will receive a souvenir mug and a ticket for tasting coffees for the price of $5. Demonstrations and live music are free to everyone at the North Market on Saturday. A home roaster competition is also planned at Noon.
“Since this is the year of our impending doom and also the year of the dragon, we figured it was now or never for this event,” laughs Slivinski. “Besides, most everyone likes coffee. It’s the world’s second largest commodity. Why not come together and celebrate it.”
The North Market Coffee Roast takes place on Saturday March 31st from 9am to 2pm. More information can be found online at www.northmarket.com.