January has been a jam-packed and an incredibly busy month for our coffee company. Last weekend we picked up the supplies we need to finish the roastery. I can’t believe I just said that! We’re moving forward and making headway. It feels great.
Our roastery insulation for the pallet walls will be finished using air-crete, drywall, and some good washable paint.
The air-crete was important to me because of its insulative value as well as being fireproof. We live in a wilderness area and I would never want to be the source of a major fire outbreak with our coffee roaster.
Originally we had planned on using straw light clay for the insulation and then plaster the interior with earthen and lime plaster, but when we found air-crete, we knew that would be less energy and time intensive.
It takes a few weeks to get everything, but it was ordered and should be here by the third week in February.
Dom and I (and some help) will be working on the roastery in February and March.
The large open bay door area will be framed out for large double glass doors that we’ve been carting around with us since we lived in West Virginia. The doors were salvaged from Snowshoe Ski Resort where Dom used to work. They are steel, 8-foot high matching exterior doors.
He has been wanting to use these doors for over three years now. The entrance door is a project I’ll be working on in mid-February. I’m pretty excited about it!
Below is a photo of the door at the entrance of the rig. I will be using that door for the entrance to the roastery. The area outlined in red at the center of the door will be filled with a thin layer of roasted coffee beans. Basically inlaying the door with beans and then pouring epoxy on top to keep the coffee beans protected. I haven’t decided if the wood on the door will be stained or left weathered. It will all depend on how the coffee beans look contrasted in the door.
There are a lot of things that need to be shifted around to make working on the roastery possible. We cleaned the roastery out during the summer, removing things that were being stored in there but couldn’t be used. Then we had major stormy weather in October and our storage tent that had all our things began to leak with water so Dom moved everything into the roastery.
Our on-demand tankless hot water heater busted about a month ago, and we’ve been without hot water ever since. We have a larger on-demand tankless water heater to install, but we decided to wait until after we finished our bathroom to install it. I was frantically searching for a proper bathtub and it was elusive for a while. It’s not that there were no tubs around for sale, it’s just that Dom had a particular need for a claw ball tub and not a regular bathtub. Tubs tend to be on the shallow and short side, and because he’s tall, he can’t enjoy a bath unless it’s a claw ball tub. We had one when we lived in Vermont, and it was the only one he truly enjoyed.
So I was looking and looking, and finally, I found one that didn’t break the bank AND the person was willing to accept payment and hold onto it until we could come and get it. Craigslist and FB Marketplace are filled with people who flake out and don’t end up coming to get things, and I needed to assure the people with the tub and our stove that we will come when we say we would.
That has worked out well for us because of our busy schedule and the fact that we only have one vehicle. I could do more and free Dom up if I had my own SUV. Instead, we have to make appointments to pick things up on the weekends when he’s not working which takes away time to work on our home projects. It’s a catch 22, and so frustrating!
Anyway, the bathroom was gutted and the floor was sanded. Yesterday the first of three coats of urethane went on the bathroom floor. Sunday we’re shooting to have the windows and drywall installed. I’m hoping that we’ll have a functional bathroom in a few weeks.
Once the bathroom is finished, the air-crete will be here and the pallet walls and the ceiling in the bathroom will be filled. However, before we can work on gutting the rig, we need to build a storage shed to put all our things. They are being stored in the roastery and we can’t work on the roastery to finish it until all the stuff is out.
When the shed is completed, the next project will be gutting the main part of the rig. The kitchen and RV bathroom will be removed. The new bathroom is a pallet addition off the back of the RV. Our daughter Hannah has converted her own small city bus into her own tiny home, and the RV shower, stove, and sinks will go to her so she can finish her tiny home.
It’s all a big juggling act. We’re positioned finally to start all the work. There were things we needed to purchase new, but the majority of our supplies are salvaged from old buildings, donated from great neighbors, or saved from demolition. It’s been sitting in piles and it is starting to look like a salvage yard, not a place we live.
I started looking for a coffee roaster that can roast more than 12 pounds per hour so that we could scale up production. I found one that will roast 45 pounds per hour and he sold it to us so inexpensively that I couldn’t say no! It will be our in-between roaster that will allow us to roast a larger amount while we’re building our hearth wood-fired coffee roaster.
Our hearth roaster will be a 15-pound roaster that is the prototype for a 30-pound roaster which would produce about 90 pounds of coffee per hour. The 30-pound hearth roaster will go into the new facility that we’re hoping to build in the next five years. The new facility will have not only the large hearth coffee roaster, but also a bottling line and large commercial kitchen for making cold brew.
We’ll be building a GeoBarn here and we’re bursting at the seams thinking about it! GeoBarns are amazing. When we lived in Vermont, Dom worked as a subcontractor building these barns from the ground up, for both residential and commercial applications. When we were trying to figure out what kind of building we wanted for our main facility, he said he wanted a GeoBarn and nothing else would do! That’s how much he loves these barns. Not just that, but everyone at GeoBarns is amazing, caring, and incredible humans. From inception to execution, the elegant and timelessness of a GeoBarn speaks for itself.
Below is just one of the fabulous GeoBarns that we had the pleasure of visiting. It’s the Silo Distillery in Winsor, Vermont. Click here to learn more about it on the GeoBarns website.
Our days seem to fly by! We’ve accomplished a lot since we moved here in April 2019. Our goal is to have the rig and the roastery completed by our one year anniversary of moving here. I think we might be on track to make that happen.
We’re making headway and it feels great.