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David Mosher and Laurie McMichael take pride in providing a good cup of coffee.
They are the roasters behind Gros Morne Coffee Roasters.
Mosher and McMichael are a west coast couple, in more ways than one. He’s originally from Corner Brook and she grew up in Vancouver.
They met in Toronto, on Mosher’s 18th birthday, and kept in touch while attending university on opposite ends of the country. They’ve been together for 39 years and married for 36.
For about 30 of those years, they ran a consulting business, offering technology guidance to large electric and gas utilities all over the world. During that time, they lived in Vancouver for 25 years.
Mosher laughs when asked how they went from consulting to roasting coffee.
“It was just a natural transition,” he said. “After working with large companies and sort of helping them, there were a bunch of factors that all came together.”
The couple wanted to move back to Newfoundland and started that process 15 years ago by building a house in Bonne Bay Pond. They also wanted to do something on a smaller scale just for themselves and started looking at opportunities for small business in the area. The dream was to start a business they could do where they lived.
“We love coffee,” said McMichael.
She said they drink a lot of it and noticed that 15 years ago it was hard to find a good cup of coffee in this area, so they decided to explore that.
They took courses through the Specialty Coffee Association and six years ago started roasting for themselves in their garage in Bonne Bay Pond just to get a feel for it. Four years ago, they sold their first bag of coffee at the Cormack Farmers’ Market.
Since then, they’ve grown their wholesale business, added a bigger roaster, moved out of the garage and in July into a building they purchased in Deer Lake’s industrial park and this year plan to purchase an even bigger roaster.
“We really homed in on a product that we loved, but we wanted to do it in the most ethical way possible,” said Mosher.
That’s why they operate their company on the four pillars of fair, local, organic, and fresh.
They source ethically produced, organically grown coffee with about 90 per cent of the coffee beans they use purchased through the Café Femenino, a co-operative of women farmers that empowers women to own their own land and farms and to give back to their communities.
To purchase coffee through the co-operative the couple gives a portion of sale proceeds to the Café Femenino and also agree to support a local women’s organization. Their choice has been the Corner Brook Status of Women Council.
Knowing their little bag of coffee is having a big impact on women in the world leaves Mosher and McMichael with a good feeling.
“It is what we set out to be,” said McMichael. “We feel really good about everything that we’re doing. Our coffee tastes good and we feel like we’re giving back to people in the community.”
Mosher adds people who buy a cup of their coffee at a café can also feel good knowing some of that money is going back to helping farmers in the developing world.
“It’s heartwarming,” he said to see the programs the Café Femenino organization and foundation is doing.
The four pillars of Gros More Coffee Roasters
Fair — Only sources ethically produced coffee beans
Local — Supports the buy local philosophy and working with other local businesses wherever it can
Organic — Only uses organically grown coffee beans
Fresh — They usually try to roast and ship orders within a day because freshness is one of the most important things in terms of getting a good cup of coffee.
They’re also proud to be a part of the buy local spirit and collaborating with other local businesses. Their coffee is used in a porter made by Crooked Feeder Brewery and a coffee rub used by D and D Farms in some sausages and on lamb that it sells. They also source the espresso cups they sell in gift boxes from a potter in Rocky Harbour.
And they enjoy being a part of the roasting community in the province.
“We’re all in this together. Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world. The idea that Newfoundlanders have access to a variety of great specialty coffee is really extraordinary, so the more people that learn about good, well-roasted, well-grown specialty coffee, I mean, it’s a wonderful thing,” said Mosher.
The couple loves working together every day and see more growth in their future.
“I see the whole small business around here growing. It’s just a really good environment right now to be in small business,” said McMichael.
A few facts about the company
- Gros Morne Coffee Roasters usually has an inventory of about a tonne of coffee on hand at any time.
- That includes coffee beans in 150-pound sacks from 10 different countries.
- They produce three blends:
Tablelands — a medium roast made with beans from Columbia and Guatemala
Tuckamore — a medium dark roast made with beans from Columbia and Brazil
Dark Fog — dark flavourful coffee made with beans from Columbia and Guatemala
- They also sell individual varietal coffees from the different countries they source from.
- The company supplies 40 retail customers across the province.
- It has doubled its sales every year.
Find out more
- Gros Morne Coffee Roasters — www.grosmornecoffee.ca
- Facebook — @grosmornecoffee
- Instagram — grosmornecoffeeroasters
- Café Femenino — https://www.cafefemenino.com/
Diane Crocker reports on west coast news.