How Runyon Coffee Came to Be

My coffee roasting journey didn't begin as a roasting journey, but really as a love of serving others.

My first job (that the IRS knew about) began at Juri's Cafe in Shreveport, Louisiana. My friends and I loved hanging out in the only real local coffee shop in town, so after an awkward pitch to the owner one morning I was able to secure a job working Friday and Saturday nights when the other employees didn't want to work.

It turned out to be one of the greatest strokes of luck I ever had, which set in motion many events that have brought me to where I am today. By working at Juri's, I learned customer service, how to run a cafe, how to think like a businessperson and, most importantly, how to make fantastic coffee.

The most important, especially to whoever is reading this, is that it inspired me to start Runyon Coffee nearly 20 years later.

I really have someone else to thank for getting me interested in actually roasting coffee, though. One of my best friends, who I introduced to coffee at Juri's Cafe while working there, began roasting his own coffee in his garage and sharing it with my wife, Kay, and I. This is really where it all began; after tasting his light-roasted Kenyan beans, I knew I had to start roasting my own. This was coffee.

Then, at the encouragement of my brother, I splurged and bought our roasting machine, which is a 12-lb. drum mounted on an electric motor and uses propane to create heat for the actual roasting process. This allows us to roast enough coffee for farmers markets with a quality control that also makes every batch incredibly hands-on. I literally see every bean as it passes from the drum to the cooling station, then from the cooling station to storage and eventually into the bags we designed ourselves. It's true craft coffee!

But, at the end of the day, my favorite thing about coffee roasting is always still talking about coffee with people who love coffee. I love making a product that makes people smile when they talk about it, and I love the shared connection that great coffee brings. That's why I'm so happy to have returned to the coffee world with our stall at the Coppell Farmers Market, and I can't wait to continue roasting great coffee for the DFW area!