An open house two years in the making
On Saturday, June 13th, Goliath Coffee — along with fellow entrepreneurs and makers from around Strathcona — spilled its beans for the first time to the city of Vancouver. For Andy and I, this was much more than just an opportunity to sell coffee. This was the moment of truth for all of efforts to date. It was a showcase of the Goliath Coffee brand (something we hold very dear), an unveiling of our new roastery at Makerlabs (which was finally completed at 4am the night before) and our first public sampling of our air roasted Cameroon Boyo coffee.
The event, Meet the Makers Expo, was organized by the Strathcona BIA and is part of a greater 5 year strategic initiative, titled "Made in Strathcona". The Strathcona BIA wants to expose the incredible diversity of small businesses to the rest of the city, and beyond. Having serendipitously made our new home at Makerlabs back in May, we were fortunate to become hosts to the more than 450 people that walked through the doors at 780 East Cordova Street.
At 11am, the enthusiastic attendees entered through the loading dock doors, following their noses toward a variety of culinary flavours, from tofu and tacos, to micro-brewed beers and fresh salads. Add our brand new cold brew into the mix and you've got a recipe for summer satisfaction. In the hopes of learning more about local preferences, we decided to provide two special cold brew cocktails:
Light Roast Cold Brew [Straight Cut]: we mixed this smooth, refreshing concentrate with a 1:1 ratio of concentrate to water and added ice cubes for an extra chill. The extended cold brew extraction process yielded a smooth and classic coffee flavour with subtle blasts of berries. Even unsweetened, many of our tasters remarked on the suprisingly easy-drinking flavour.
Dark Roast Cold Brew [Vanilla Almond]: this bolder roast has a touch of bitterness and thus benefitted from a more complex mixture than the light roast. One part dark roast cold brew concentrate, one part almond milk, one part filtered water, plus a couple of splashes of natural vanilla extract. We haven't named this delectable mix yet, but it was very well received and deserves a place in your to-go mug this summer.
It's safe to say that our cold brew samples were a hit, with at least one sneaky snacker knocking back half a dozen mini-cups. That guy must get all of his nutritional requirements by walking the aisles of Costco. Don't worry, Vancouver, there's more cold brew where those first bottles came from. Stay tuned!
Later that Saturday, we got a Twitter shout-out from the one and only Richard Wolak (aka Vancouver Foodster):
That led to our very first radio mention on CKNW AM980 (Thanks, Richard!)
Throughout the day, we were visited by some of biggest supporters: our friends. We want to thank all of you for taking the time to come by and see what we've been up with this "coffee thing" for the past 2 years.
This was just the first in what will hopefully become many local events that enable young startups like us to connect with members of the local community. We promise to always keep everyone well caffeinated.
Extra special thanks goes out to:
The legendary Karl Simmons, for his talent, his patience and his willingness to always say "yes"
- Jeremy @ Makerlabs for giving us the materials and confidence to bring our space to life
- Christie, for making such luxurious soaps and for stepping up to be part of the Goliath Coffee team when we really needed you
Eugenia, for providing unending support while this all came to life and for lending your incredible photographic skills to our cause
- Talia, for always believing in us, for enabling me to pursue this passion and for lending your creativity and artistry whenever we needed it.
- Aslan from Kahve & Chai for being our Makerlabs wingman and helping us get our samples into the hands and mouths of our first customers
- Derek and the entire team at Makerlabs for putting up with constant questions and always providing helpful answers