The Firelight Coffee roastery has moved to a new location! We are still getting settled in, but we are already loving the extra space and amenities this new facility affords us. However, there is one major downside with this transition…
No More Tasting Room 😞
Unfortunately, our new location no longer has an opportunity for a public-facing coffee shop. Due to having gated entry and nature of the other companies working in our building, it is not well suited to act as a tasting room. The bright side of this change is that having a dedicated, large production facility will help us focus even more on sourcing and roasting coffees the best we can. We’ll post a link soon showing all the places around Atlanta where you can still visit and enjoy a cup of Firelight Coffee, and you can always place an order on our webstore!
On Monday, January 24th, we were notified that the building our roastery was in, part of the Strongbox West co-working space, was being demolished to make room for a data center. All of us in the Strongbox West building had been watching the nearby developments rise up around us, and while we knew that our time was limited, we had no idea that our displacement was imminent. After being in the space for over six years, we now had three weeks to move out! The staff and owners at Strongbox West were blindsided by this news too, and tearfully told us that everyone must vacate by Valentine’s day.
We immediately formed a plan– one team focused on making sure coffee was roasted and orders continued to be filled, while the other team found a new roasting location and worked out the logistics of moving and installing a 1600lb roaster in a different part of the city. By the end of the week (and with no time to spare), we had landed on our new roasting location: English Avenue Yards! The team at English Avenue knew what sort of constraints we were under and worked hard to deliver us a turnkey roastery so that the coffee could keep flowing. After many tours and much deliberation, we signed a lease and started planning our move.
T-Minus 2 Weeks
With two weeks left at our old roastery, we started packing and sorting while still roasting, shipping, and operating our tasting room. It was tough! Once we had access to our new space, we moved some things over ahead of time and prepped the space where the roaster would go. Our goal was to have the roaster ready to plug and play, which requires fuel lines and exhaust runs in super specific tolerances. It’s pretty tough to pull off in two weeks while still filling orders!
On February 11th we snagged a big truck and prepped the roaster to be moved to the new location. The machine is small enough that we were able to do it with the help of some amazing friends that lent their help, but big enough that it took the combined brainpower and strength of five guys! Thankfully, the machine was moved without incident and fit perfectly into its new home, just a half-mile down the street. We were able to get it hooked up and tested quickly, and thankfully everything worked just the way it did in our old space. After many high-fives and congratulations, we all basically collapsed in our beds and slept for the first full, stress-free weekend in almost a month.
Today we are up and running at full capacity with efficiency gains all over the place! We were able to streamline our production line so that it’s simpler and quicker without tripping all over each other, and we have a new dedicated station for making kegs of nitro cold brew. Our glass-walled sensory lab is also coming along nicely, where we will be able to more effectively grade coffees away from the hustle and bustle (and roasting smells) of the production area. I’m confident that all of these positive changes will add up to better, more thoughtful, and even more consistent coffees than ever before. While we wish that our community at Strongbox West didn’t have to experience such a sudden shift, we’re using the move as a source of momentum to catapult us into the next phase of our business. Thanks to everyone that has helped us get here, and we look forward to what’s to come in our new location!