Welcome back Joe in the YO enthusiasts! This week, Meet the Roasters features an interview with Matt Campbell, owner and roaster extraordinaire at Branch Street Coffee Roasters, located in Boardman. With trips to coffee-growing countries to source the best-available beans, precise weighing methods and latte foam art, Branch Street knows their coffee! But don’t take it from us, see what Matt has to say about his business and experiences.
Why the Coffee Business?
When you hear “emergency room” and “coffee” you might not think of many similarities. However, a coworker actually introduced Matt to the artisan coffee world during his career in the medical field. Matt’s background in imaging for oncology and emergency room CAT scans not only introduced him to the coffee industry, but also helps a lot when it comes to operating the roaster and understanding the science behind developing delicious coffee beans.
Q. Why did you enter the coffee business?
A. About 7 or 8 years ago, I was introduced to fresh-roasted coffee while I was working in nuclear medicine. My coworker insisted that I try it and from my first couple sips, I immediately noticed a huge difference from regular coffee, and I fell in love with it.
Q. So you decided to make the change from medicine to being a coffee entrepreneur?
A. Yes. Working in oncology for five years got to be a bit depressing. Coffee was exciting. There was a coffee shop just down the road, and the owners took me on as an apprentice. They taught me about the business end of running a coffee shop, how to roast coffee beans, and the science behind roasting as well.
Q. Can you explain your roasting process?
A. We roast two days out of the week, and we roast all of our varieties each time we roast. Each batch takes us between 10-13 minutes, depending on what we’re doing with that coffee. Each coffee has its own unique profile or recipe and we adjust the temperatures and air flows depending on how the coffee likes to be roasted.
Cappuccino with a Splash of Story
Whether you like your coffee black, sweet or somewhere in between, Branch Street has a flavor (and a story) for you!
Q. What do you think makes Branch Street unique?
A. We try to find relational coffees. We want the coffee to have a story behind it and we really showcase the hard work that goes into it from the producer’s standpoint. We also only roast coffees on the light spectrum, but even dark roast people can find something that they love here because we have full-bodied coffees.
Q. What is your most popular drink?
A. Our seasonal lattes and single origin coffees are probably our two best sellers. (We would definitely recommend trying their fall special, the Salted Maple Latte. It has a sweet maple flavor and comes with fantastic foam art on top.)
Beyond Business: Giving Back
Some of the Branch Street staff recently took a trip to Peru to visit several coffee farms and learn more about the source of their beans. Matt shares his Peru experience and some pretty exciting plans for the future.
Q. Can you talk about your trip to Peru?
A. We recently visited five different coffee farms in Peru, where we met with the families who own the farms and observed their harvesting and processing quality. I went down there with great admiration for the work that the growers and producers were doing, but to have them show us how it actually works and to see what they actually have to do to get a cup of coffee on our table is outstanding. The coffee bean farmers in Peru are some of the most honest, humble and hardworking people that I have met.
One of the things that we focus on at Branch Street is finding a relationship. So, we will be bringing coffee back from three of the farms that we visited in Peru and part of our coffee proceeds will go back to the hands of those farmers. The money will go towards upgrading their facilities and will help them produce better coffee for future years.
If you’re searching for a sustainable, unique and compassionate shop with artisan-crafted coffee, then Branch Street Coffee Roasters is the place for you! Matt’s passion for artisan coffee has brought about ownership of a second coffee shop, Generations Coffee Lab, located in nearby Columbiana, so be sure to check out that location as well! To travel the Joe in the YO Coffee Trail, visit this page for your passport and a list of participating locations. To learn more about places to go and things to see in the Youngstown area, check out the Mahoning County Convention & Visitors Bureau website and follow @YoungstownLive on social media!
Branch Street Coffee Roasters Website: https://branchstreetcoffee.com/
Branch Street Insta: @branchstreetcoffee
Branch Street Twitter: @BranchStreetCR