In 1984, Norman and Gail Galloway owned retirement businesses: a Cayucos apartment complex and a Morro Bay floral shop. So it wasn’t a stretch to partner with their friend Jerry Winnowski to purchase a coffee business in Baywood.
But the learning curve was steep. Norman Galloway read profusely, interrogated coffee reps, and worked long hours testing coffees before he discovered Central Coast Coffee Roasting Co.’s signature secret.
“Once the beans are roasted,” said daughter Julie Galloway, who is spokeswoman for the family business, “we let them sit a couple days so the natural sugars come in. We call it seasoning time. Dad used to roast late into the night — maybe 50 to 1,000 pounds a night.
With the equipment we have today, we can roast a batch in 18 to 26 minutes, or three times more in a day.”
In 2000, the Los Osos-based company moved from its smaller warehouse on Los Olivos Avenue to a 7,000-square-foot pristine roasting and packaging warehouse down the street at 1172 Los Olivos Ave.
“We grew up working the business,” Julie Galloway said.
Today, 12 employees — including her husband, Paul Miller, her brother Chris and his son, Eric — roast, blend and package 140 varieties of regular, decaf, holiday and blended coffees under the labels SLO Roasted Coffee, Baywood Exotic Flavored Coffee and Walker/Hupp Signature Blend, benefiting camperships for Headwaters Outdoor School.
The company ships worldwide and delivers five days a week to retail outlets from Paso Robles to Carpinteria.
The Galloways buy their fair-trade, organically grown beans from Royal Coffee Inc. of Emeryville. The supplier personally inspects the coffee plantations to assess the health of the operations and samples the coffee beans before buying complete crops to wholesale.
Central Coast Coffee Roasting Co.’s chief roaster, Adam Boyd, came from Hawaii 13 years ago to join the business.
“He can tell from the beans crackling in the 400-degree roaster where they are in the roasting process,” Julie Galloway explained.
The deep-chocolate-cherry-colored beans then go into an environmentally secured afterburner to remove any particulates. Once cooled and seasoned in bins for two days — the time for full flavors and smells to emerge — they are packaged. Packaging and labeling is fully automated.
“Customers’ favorites are anything with vanilla,” Julie Galloway said. “Dad is really good at naming the coffees — romantic names like Hawaiian Affair Hazel Nut. He renamed our German Blend, calling it Darn Good Coffee. It now flies off the shelf.”
“We’re local — always fresh,” she said. “We sell retail at the warehouse, have gift packages, and offer group tours. We recycle. Coffee chaff makes great compost.”
Details and mail order instructions are at www.sloroasted.com.
Judy Salamachas column is special to The Tribune. Reach her at email@example.com or 801-1422.