Q&A With Rooftop Coffee Roasters
We caught up with Head Roaster at Rooftop Coffee Roasters, Keegan Street, who co-founded the coffee company with his parents, Sarah Deschenes and David Street in June 2016. Here's our chat with Keegan:
So how did Rooftop Coffee Roasters really come to be?
Rooftop officially started in 2016, but before that, I was home roasting as a hobby on the rooftop of our house. I started roasting because I had just moved to Fernie, BC, from Calgary, whose coffee scene was booming. I went from that to this amazing small town that didn’t have a specialty coffee scene, and through forums and the internet I found out that I could roast at home.
You seem to be doing well in coffee competitions! Is this something that you want to dive into?
Not really, no. I got into the West Coast Aeropress competition because I just moved to Vancouver in September for school. I knew some people in the coffee scene here and I honestly did the competitions so I could hang out with people and kind of let everyone know that I was living in Vancouver. I really fell into competition by accident, it started off as a social event more than anything, and winning out West and going to Toronto was great because I got to meet more people through that!
What would you say is the ethos of Rooftop Coffee? What are you guys trying to accomplish?
One of our main goals is to buy coffee in a way that does right by the people who produce, as well as by our environment and our planet. Eventually, I’d like to apply what I’m learning now—studying food science—to improve the sustainability of agriculture and coffee. Basically, just doing right by everyone from the producer to the barista.
What are the next steps for Rooftop?
Transparency is important for us, and in an ideal scenario, I’d like to be able to say “This is how much we pay” but also give real information on how we can help fund the farms for the changes that will be coming in the next few decades.