The brains behind Angry Catfish and Northern Coffeeworks are busy heading into 2020, as they look to expand their wholesale coffee business, add a coffeehouse and roll out a mobile coffee shop.
The business started roasting its own beans at Northern Coffeeworks downtown, because it wanted to control what it offers customers, something it already does with custom bike frames built at Northern Frameworks and sold through Angry Catfish Bicycle Shop and Coffee Bar.
"Part of what we've been doing through Angry Catfish starting our own bicycle frame company is just owning our distribution channels, just being able to control the exact products that we're bringing to market," said Josh Klauck, one of the owners of the businesses. "That's a large part of it."
Not having to ship large quantities of roasted coffee also cuts on transportation costs and environmental impact, Klauck said.
Bags of Northern Coffeeworks coffee are available already at Midwest Mountaineering in Minneapolis and Red Raven Bicycle Cafe in Crosby, Minn. The coffee will be available at Café Domestique, a coffee-bike shop in Madison, Wis., after Jan. 1.
Less than 10% of the firm's roasting capacity is being used right now, Klauck said, and they expect to sell the coffee in more locations in 2020 and ramp up production.
At least at Angry Catfish, "people seem to be choosing it over other options," Klauck said. "With the right amount of business available to us we could roast every day [in] multiple shifts."
The family of businesses, which includes Mend Provisions on E. 42nd Street in Minneapolis just around the corner from Angry Catfish, will also be able to announce a new coffeehouse soon, Klauck said.
"We should have another location by this time next year, for sure," he said.
The first Northern Coffeeworks, which has a small kitchen and retail component, opened in 2017 at 1027 S. Washington Av.
Klauck is perhaps most excited about a new mobile coffee shop in a converted vintage trailer that he wants to roll out this spring and set up at events. It will have a bike-shop component, too.
"It's purchased and being fabricated, refurbished, made food-grade," he said. "It's probably going to be ready before it's warm enough to use on a daily basis."
He has to work out some of the regulatory details, but hopes it will be able to set up wherever there's a crowd, maybe around the lakes.
"I'd love to park it right next to Sea Salt and have it jamming right there," Klauck said. "It's a matter of getting the right permits and the right people on board."