Every Sunday morning, Brian Gomez of The Roasted Bean in San Dimas, California spends 5 hours in front of his Toper 5kg Roaster, turning out flavorful coffee from all over the world.
What started as a hobby in 2011 developed into a full fledged business in 2015. And it’s been growing ever since.
Fun Belly caught up with Brian to discuss the origins of The Roasted Bean LLC, the company’s values and how he views the emerging 3rd wave coffee culture in Los Angeles.
What prompted you to start The Roasted Bean?
I had a spinal cord injury in 2011. Before my injury, I was into motocross and bike riding. After my injury, I wanted to keep my competitive fire burning. Coffee roasting allowed that and I dove right in. I bought a table top roaster, smoked out my house a few times and entered some competitions. It turns out, I was pretty damn good. After sharing beans with my friends and family, they encouraged me to go deeper, so I did. After about two years of tabletop roasting and 6 months of window shopping , I decided to buy a Toper 5k, which allows me to roast 10 lbs of coffee at a time. After that, my business really started developing.
Tell me more about your business.
It’s definitely a family affair. My Dad, Angel, is a successful businessman in his own right. When he’s not running his business, he’s my hands, legs and voice. He helps coordinate purchases and sales, lends a hand with the roasting and knows how to fix everything. My mom and girlfriend help with the packing, shipping and handling while my cousin is regular at the Farmer’s Markets. If you see him at Victoria Gardens, tell’em what’s up?!
What do you think about the issue of diversity in the 3rd Wave coffee movement?
I’ve found it to be a super-inclusive, judgement-free zone. The industry attracts a bunch of personalities–from artisans to activists to marketers. It’s important to us to run a fair business which is why we only work with coffee brokers who set price standards that allow for a livable wage for the growers. We pride ourselves on these values.
What are some of your most popular coffees and where can Fun Belly readers find it?
Our top sellers are our coffees from Guatemala and Ethiopia. Currently, the Claremont Club, 4th St Mill in La Verne and the Village Eatery in Glendora carry TRB Coffee. We sell our coffee online at theroastedbeanllc.com. We’re grateful to have loyal customers in Nevada, Texas, Illinois and Pennsylvania.
What’s the future hold?
More coffee. More relationships. More fun. And our new Nitro Cold Brew! Follow me on Instagram and I’ll tell you all about it! I’ll hook up your Fun Belly readers with a 5% on any pound of coffee.
They should use the code: funbelly.