By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – There’s a new place to grab lunch or a cup of coffee in Morinville. The Green Bean Coffee House opened over the Thanksgiving weekend offering Morinvillians a selection of fresh soups, salads, sandwiches, muffins, pastries, and the business’ signature item – fresh coffee.
But for owners Douglas Adsit and Rocco Pellettieri not just any cup of coffee would do for their customers. Adslit said coffee is always a strong seller and the coffee industry is a competitive business. “It’s the kind of business that will never go away,” he said. “People will always strive for a good cup of coffee, and I wanted to come up with a good cup of coffee.”
In order to do just that, Adsit looked at a number of high-end coffees, coming to the realization that the Kicking Horse Coffee brand had no real competitor. He and Pellettieri felt there was an opportunity to give the BC-based company some and set out to find the right blend to appeal to both those who drink coffee and those who sell it.
The businessman said Green Bean has three retail blends of coffee: Mexican, using beans from Southern Mexico, a 100 per cent Columbia variety, and their Havana Nights variety, a Cuban blend made up of 70 per cent Costa Rican beans. On the latter variety, the owners have roasted the bean to give it the darkness but not the bitterness common in Cuban coffee. Adsit explained most Cuban coffee beans are exported to Japan, but he and his partner are hoping to make inroads whereby more Cuban beans are brought to Canada. They also have an Espresso bean variety that is less bitter and met with approval from those who enjoy the beverage.
What coffee lovers can expect at the Green Bean is a smooth coffee that is not bitter. “We’ve had lots of compliments from people coming in on the coffee,” Adsit said. “It’s not the run of the mill coffee. It’s high end coffee and we’re bringing it out at an affordable price.”
The company roasts their own beans and package everything out of an Edmonton facility; however, they would like to build a facility in Morinville within the next three years to roast and package their coffee for a wide market. The company started retailing and wholesaling their coffee three months before opening the Morinville shop. “It really took off right from the get go,” Adsit said, adding the decision to open a coffee shop in Morinville was to assist with marketing their unique brand.
But while the owners hope to spread their retail and wholesale coffee operation to other restaurants, institutions and new Green Bean franchises, they are offering locals far more than just a good cup of Joe. The restaurant offers a full selection of soups, salads and sandwiches as well as home-made muffins and pastries.
“The food is all fresh so it’s all home-made,” Adsit said. “The bread is all fresh baked daily. All the meats are prime. Mortadela, Capicola, Italian ham. We’re focusing on the actual meats from the distributors that the Italians would consume more than the North American meats. It makes for a different sandwich.”
While the cuisine may carry a distinctive Italian flavour, the décor and the coffee carries a Cuban flair. Images of Cuban rebel leader Ernesto Che Guevara adorn the walls and Cuban coffee fills the cups. Adsit said Che Guevara was chosen as a marketing image because of the rebel leader’s penchant for chewing on coffee beans to give him energy. Although the entrepreneurs don’t expect anyone to chew on their beans, they hope people will chew on the idea of giving their coffee a try.
The Green Bean is open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. They are located on 100 Street, next door to Scotia Bank.