Q&A With 33 ⅓ Coffee Roasters
This Regina-based roastery is looking to bring a little more specialty coffee to the city. We chatted with Eric Galbraith, the owner of 33 ⅓ Coffee Roasters, to learn about their approach to coffee and what the coffee scene in Regina is like.
- What's the origin story of 33 1/3 Coffee Roasters? How did it all start?
Before coffee took up all of my time, I wanted to open up a record store. I had this idea to have a record store which also served coffee because I was getting into coffee. I was like 20-something [years old], and you know, things change. I'm like, ‘well, maybe I'll just focus on the coffee side of things and learn how to make good coffee.’
I started getting into roasting and bought one of those barbecue drum roasters. You just hook it up onto your barbecue and rotate it. That's kind of how I started. I did that for two or three years, selling to different cafes and friends.
Then there was a roaster that came up for sale in Regina here. I bought it and started roasting on that. Then we had the opportunity to open a cafe and that was three years ago now.
- Do you mind walking me through what you guys are trying to accomplish with the coffee company? What's the ethos behind 33 1/3?
All I ever wanted to do was just bring high-quality coffee to the city because there was nothing when I first started doing it.
That's still my goal - to bring in some of the best coffee in the world, highlight it and share it with the city. That's always been my goal, to highlight farmers' work and bring it into the city.
- The last time we spoke to you was in 2019; how have things changed for you and the coffee scene in Regina since then?
In the past, I was more focused on expanding the business but now, I want to focus on roasting.
We closed a couple of our cafes, and we now only have one connected to the roastery. And I am happy to be able to spend more time roasting than managing the business. We recently got some new custom bags made, so that's exciting!
We hosted an AeroPress competition last year and the city hosted The Brewers Cup Nationals. It was really exciting to have a national event in the city, it seems like people here are getting more interested in specialty coffee. We have seen more people coming in to buy bags of coffee and brew gear. People ask about different processing methods and are generally excited about where the coffee comes from.
- What are your plans for the future?
Taking every day at a time and trying to be less stressed and live more simply. I am not trying to take over the world or have our coffee everywhere. Just living easy, I guess you could say.