Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Zane Kelsall & Dean Petty are the new kids in the Canadian roasting scene having been around for just over a year. They’re the co-owners of Anchored Coffee, a coffee roaster based out of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
It was the eventual step in Zane’s coffee journey. After operating 2 café’s by the name ‘Two If By Sea’ his curiosity was piqued and he wanted to challenge himself with the finicky process of roasting.
“When you’re just a café owner – we had all these amazing roasters in. Talking to them about the things I liked about the coffee and things I didn’t like about the coffee. So I wondered if I could do it.”
He may not have been an expert at it at the time, but he definitely had a vision in place and a plan for Anchored. Luckily for him, the Business Development Bank of Canada was on board with this vision and awarded him a Young Entrepreneur Award and a $100,000 cash prize. Financially they were capable, and with that Anchored Coffee Roasting was opened.
Dean explains the plan was three fold “The goals are to source coffee ethically, find great coffee and then have fun in the roasting, cupping, bagging & shipping process”
Being a new roaster, the technical knowledge of roasting wasn’t something either of them had. How did they get so great at it?
“We put coffee in a roaster and then tasted it” says Zane.
Trial and error. Training wheels off.
“We’re obsessed with production cupping. We taste things multiple times that go out of the roastery. We do it super critically. When we’re doing that, we actually look at our logs on our roast from a data collection point to see what happened.”
“We put coffee in a roaster and then tasted it”
Analyzing the data is a great way to understand the variables and the impact that the changes are making to the taste profile of the roasted bean. They not only trusted the data and their pallet, but they would share their beans with folks established in the coffee industry across Canada. Continually receiving feedback on what people liked and didn’t like about their coffee is how they knew which direction to steer.
With this somewhat collaborative approach, they’ve been able to make serious waves within the Canadian roasting scene.
“To be selling in places like Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto. Basically all the major hubs in Canada that already have an established coffee culture. I’m stoked on that to be honest with you. To be recognized in a place where people understand and know what they want. If they like ours – that’s a win for us.”
Collaboration isn’t something they only do in Canada, in fact they’re often commiting and working with farmers. La Virgen, featured in December 2014, has actually been a regular fixture with that being their 4th year Anchored was bringing in and featuring the crop. Anchored is committing themselves to help provide stability to the farmers and Dean is very impressed with improvements year over year.
“We work hard, have fun and love what we do.”