Our Story Begins
Established in 1987, Backroads Coffee & Tea began as a small community coffee shop. At the forefront of the 2nd wave specialty coffee movement, Backroads Coffee & Tea offered the Hayward community craft-made specialty coffee beverages, small-batch roasted coffees, and an assortment of imported fine teas. Backroads Coffee & Tea thrived throughout the early nineties roasting specialty coffees for their own use, as well as, offering their customers the ability to purchase their coffees through mail order or direct in-house.
Under New Ownership
In 1997, Teresa and Rod Peters purchased Backroads Coffee & Tea and continued the legacy that was established before them. They worked diligently and long hours to build the brand beyond the four walls of their coffee shop. While Rod worked endlessly to learn and perfect the craft of small batch roasting, Teresa took her skills and knowledge of the specialty coffee industry and together they began to transform Backroads Coffee & Tea and extend the reach for other communities to gain access to their exceptionally crafted coffees.
A Foundation To Build From
While owning and operating a retail coffee shop was new, Teresa had already had extensive experience in specialty coffee. Teresa's foundation into specialty coffee began years before, while leading as the vice president of a specialty coffee company, who could be considered at the time, one of the Midwest's pioneers bringing attention to specialty crafted coffee beyond independent coffee shops and directly into peoples homes. It was with this experience and a vision for the future that Rod and Teresa set forth a new path for Backroads Coffee.
Making Big Moves
In the early 2000's, Teresa and Rod decided to separate and relocate the roasting side of the company into its own facility (now located 14 miles East of Hayward). This move allowed Backroads Coffee to grow and expand their footprint in the wholesale market, as well as, to afford other retailers the opportunity to offer their customers our amazing small-batch roasted specialty coffees. The new 1200 sq ft building provided Backroads Coffee the space to add a second roaster, additional packaging equipment, as well as, a sales / administration office. While these moves were an integral part in the growth of Backroads Coffee, more was to come.
In 2004, Teresa and Rod made another exciting move involving the retail coffee shop, by purchasing a building (two doors down from their original shop). This new historic building once held a blacksmith shop during the early days of Hayward. With work to be done, and a creative vision, the new building was updated, designed, and transformed to be a space perfect for people to meet, enjoy, and have amazing conversations over a cup of coffee. The design of the building left the exposed brickwork, wood beams, and arched windows. This new space also allowed for a larger counter space, more tables, and kitchen to be added. New food and fresh bakery offerings were then created and added to the menu. The new coffee shop became, and has remained, a staple in the local community for people to visit, hang out, and / or work, while enjoying a perfect cup of coffee or delicious food.
Expansion & Opportunities
By 2013, Backroads Coffee had experienced significant growth in all of the following areas: wholesale, grocery, and retail. It was by this time that it was realized that 1200 sq ft of space was no longer adequate. With growth continuing to climb and added positions to our team, it was clear we needed more space for both production and office space. Teresa and Rod then made the decision to increase the roasting facility by another 2000 sq ft. This addition allowed for three additional offices, a reception area, tasting lab, as well as, 2000 sq ft for production. Aside from these additions, we also brought in additional equipment. Currently working with two 11.3 kilo Royal roasters, we also added a 25 kilo Probat roaster, as well as, a form, fill, and seal (FFS) machine, which allowed us to bring the production of our "perfect pot" foil packs in house.
The addition of the Probat roaster allowed us to keep up with the growing demand while also maintaining a high standard of quality and consistency with small-batch roasting. Additionally, the FFS machine provided us the opportunity to bring production of our "perfect pot" foil packs back in house. This was, and is, instrumental in controlling and maintaining the consistency and quality of the coffee, by allowing us to roast, pack, and seal the coffee for our "perfect pot" foil packs the same day! Freshness is key to the perfect cup. Aside from the roastery expansion and additional equipment, other opportunities for the company were right around the corner.
Introducing Midwest Roasters
During the mid to late 2000's, the specialty coffee market began to see an explosion of interest and growth including: local coffee shops, restaurants and bars, specialty markets and grocery, and corporate offices, etc. Teresa and Rod Peters saw 2013 as the perfect opportunity to serve this growing demand by transforming the Backroads Coffee roasting business into one that could serve this new and growing market and thus Midwest Roasters was born. Midwest Roasters now serves as the roasting and business offices for our subsidiary brands, including Backroads Coffee.
Today & Beyond
Although the name of the roasting business has changed, Backroads Coffee remains steadfast in our approach. We continue to only source high grade specialty coffees from around the world, we roast each coffee in small batches using our tried and true roasting techniques, and we are proud to serve and offer our delicious coffees at our coffee shop, our online store, or through any of our amazing wholesale partners. We look forward to what lies ahead and the future of this growing industry. Our goal is to always continuing learning, perfecting, and providing the best product and service you, our amazing customers, can ask for. We cannot thank you enough for the support you have given us! It is because of you, that we have been able to continue serving our communities, weather any storm, and build for a brighter future.