In the Fall of 2014, we began to search for a way to start a business in coffee. Erik and Luke almost bought this van. We're glad they didn't, because chances are, we wouldn't have found ourselves roasting instead!
What we ended up finding was a brand new (used) Diedrich IR-7 Coffee Roaster! We took a trek down to the bay, loaded it up, and worked our way home (at that time a garage in Newcastle) and began our coffee adventure.
For the first 2 years, we roasted out of a spare garage in Newcastle CA. We'd roast and then barter coffee to friends and family, getting feedback, navigating the start-up phase, and dialing in our craft. This garage was our proving ground and it was a special time for our fledgling business.
As our time in Newcastle drew to a close, we began to look for a place to call home. So naturally we did what any bootstrapped start up would do, we hunted for the cheapest space possible.
We were offered a barn in Loomis. A friend was kind enough to rent us the downstairs of his storage barn as they built out their home. It was a fun and challenging season. But so necessary for us to take the next step in being a legitimate coffee business.
Erik met Kayla while behind at the bar at the Wild Chicken Coffee Shop in Loomis (Now home to Loomis Basin Gastro Pub). She came in to buy french roast, and he insisted she get Sumatra instead.
Fast forward to Summer 2018, and we were moving our business into the old Wild Chicken Roastery. We were really humbled to be handed the torch from Erik's old boss, Charlotte. And so began a whole new chapter in our business' development.
Over the next few years we would be going through iterations of change and development in Valiant. Figuring out how the system worked, where it needed work and what this industry is really all about. We began to learn coffee in depth, and learn what it meant to show up in an enormously complex and creative industry.
2020 was rough. That was true for just about every person, family, and business. We were no exception. We had to rapidly pivot to maintain sales as nearly all of our wholesale accounts closed down.
This was a hard year, but it helped us to see our need for connecting directly with our customers. It was a lesson well learned, and we made it through because of you!
This was our chance to rebuild, recover, and refocus.
We saw so many improvements this year, from a new roaster, to implementing a newly certified Q-Arabica Grader (Erik) and developing some much needed QC protocols. 2021 was a year of much needed growth.
2022 Has opened the door for so many possibilities for our little family-owned and operated roasting company. We've brought in new staff (fall 2021) and we're ambitiously moving toward opening a cafe space in the Heart of Downtown Loomis!
There is so much we want to share and say here, but for now, stay tuned by joining our email list, and see what good things are coming down the line! If you want to follow the progress on our cafe space, stay tuned, updates will be broadcast over social and email.