Name of business: six:eight coffee
Type of business: Home micro roaster
Location: www.sixeightcoffee.com; @sixeightcoffee on Instagram; six:eight coffee roasting on Facebook
Hours: Available in La Mo Café through March, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; Contact for direct pickups.
Contact information: 209-648-7691
Specialty: Fair trade coffee
History of business:
Turlock residents Jake and Chelsea Giffen have always shared a passion for coffee throughout their decade-long marriage, even heading up to one of the largest coffee culture hubs in the country, Portland, for their honeymoon. Some years and two kids later — with another on the way — the pair has now turned their enthusiasm for the drink into a small-scale coffee roasting operation run from the comfort of their own home.
The Giffens’ coffee roasting company, six:eight coffee, came to life back in 2011, when Jake took his budding interest in coffee up a notch and began roasting small batches of coffee beans on a popcorn popper — a common occurrence for beginners no matter how odd it may seem, Chelsea insisted. Eventually, they purchased a tiny roaster of their own and began to take roasting more seriously.
“We were able to see the science behind it, and our love for roasting just grew,” Chelsea said. “We started giving beans to friends and family, and it went on from there.”
The Giffens were able to buy an even larger roaster two years ago, tripling their output and allowing them the opportunity to produce enough coffee beans to be featured at local events and even in local coffee houses, like La Mo Café.
In between Jake’s full-time job as a math teacher and Chelsea taking care of the couple’s children, the Giffens are able to roast 15 to 20 pounds of coffee a week. This is enough to help them keep up with customers who have subscribed to their coffee delivery service via their website, which sees the family make their rounds every Saturday to hand their product to patrons in person.
“Our family knows most of the people on our subscription list; we see them every Saturday morning so there’s that personal connection,” Chelsea said. “That’s the heartbeat of our business. As we connect with others, we’re spreading something that’s fair, fresh and local to our community.”
Six:eight coffee takes pride in the fact that their coffee beans are Farm Gate Certified, working with Oakland supplier Sweet Maria’s to obtain beans from places like Ethiopia, El Salvador and New Guinea that are free from export and import fees. This ensures the coffee bean farmers in those countries are receiving appropriate pay, allowing six:eight coffee drinkers to sip their cup of joe with a clean conscience.
“We wanted to ensure a fairness in how they’re treated,” Chelsea said. “There can sometimes be slavery involved and unfair wages, so we asked, ‘How can we make a difference?’”
Six:eight coffee will be sold in La Mo Café through the end of March, and those interested in home delivery or the roasting company’s subscription list can get signed up via their website, Instagram or Facebook.