Laura Perry & Nate Welland, two seasoned veterans in the Canadian coffee world, have teamed up to start LÜNA, a coffee venture focused on light, bright and delightful coffees for everyone.
Their start was actually influenced by a parasite that Perry caught on a coffee-sourcing trip in Peru for 49th Parallel Coffee that resulted in a re-evaluation.
“When I got sick, it was a wakeup call for me to go, ‘Okay, we need to make a decision. What are we going to do?’”
“We were thinking about how a lot of the previous generation of coffee companies have done incredible things for specialty coffee, and there's a lot of furiousness behind their branding and certain roast styles. We felt like what was missing was lighter coffees that are unabashedly so. And the idea that playfulness and approachability can exist in branding in tandem with real context behind the coffees that are sold,” explained Perry.
However, a great idea and a gap in the market can only take you so far. To start a roaster, significant capital is required to afford the equipment. Or, as is the case with Nate Welland, a really generous and kind boss.
“I went and talked to him and said, ‘Okay, I'd like to work for you, but I have this idea that I'd like to start my own company, and the biggest hurdle is not having access to a machine,’ so it was nice to talk about that right from the outset so that my intentions were clear.”
“He was like, ‘Oh, you should just roast here,’” shared Welland on the relationship with Dusty Smith from Agro Coffee Roasters.”
“Which is insane. I can't tell you how rare that is to find someone ... to be that open ... We're so lucky. We're so lucky. LÜNA would not exist without Agro Coffee,” furthered Perry.
Fast-forward to November 2017, when the first ever Beanstock Coffee Festival was taking place in Vancouver. The event expedited the process and forced the team at LÜNA to get themselves organized. They had six weeks to come up with a name, a brand and begin roasting coffee.
“The reception I got was incredible. I was really overwhelmed by how much people liked what I was doing,” explained Welland on how Beanstock went for LÜNA.
It was onward and upward from then on. However, their small size isn’t limiting their ability.
“I think that just because we're small doesn't mean that we can't have super traceable supply chains, and it doesn't mean that we don't have access to top-quality coffee. I would say that we have, if anything, an even greater responsibility because we’re buying a small amount of coffee.”
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