Foggy Bean builds fan base at markets

Roasted in the rainforest, Foggy Bean Coffee is becoming part of the West Coast weekend market experience, says co-owner Heather Grimshire.

The tiny company’s new coffee cart is a familiar sight at the weekend markets and events on the West Coast.

“We like the camaraderie with other vendors, how everyone supports each other. There’s support for people who are trying to be entrepreneurs on the West Coast,” she said of the market community in Tofino and Ucluelet.

Grimshire has a few tips for market visitors and wanna-be vendors.

“Be prepared for all weather .. always bring your gumboots,” she said with a smile.

This year’s been spectacularly sunny, but even the rain is half the fun if you embrace the weather, Grimshire said.

A good cup of coffee helps – and Foggy Bean is hoping the aromas and flavours of coffee roasted in the rainforest will firm up those memories for locals and visitors alike.

“Coffee has a distinct taste and aroma … flavor and aroma connect into memory,” she said.

“I think weather plays a big part of the coffee culture here on the West Coast,” she said, noting it’s the rain that gives the region its lush green beauty. “It creates a bit of romance around visiting the West Coast. People are drawn by the rainforest, the ocean, the activities.”

At the market and on the shelves of local retailers, Foggy Bean customers are becoming loyal to the small roaster’s brand, she said.

“We’re hand-stamping the bags, (husband) Jeff is

roasting the coffee manually. It’s not like a big, mechanized roaster, and that West Coast feeling carries over into the coffee. We’re handcrafting everything and we’re trying to make the best product from the beans we choose, how we roast it and prepare it at market.

“We want the coffees to be memorable for people,” she said.

Foggy Bean is starting to make an appearance on store shelves in Port Alberni, and the Grimshires are planning a push there in the fall.

Grimshire is proud Foggy Bean is served at places like Ukee Dogs, where Zane Nilson

is preparing to take his custom blend of their beans to Western Canada’s barista competition July 25.

The market remains a great way to connect with people in the community, Heather said.

“They really want to put a face to the brand,” she said. editor@westerlynews.ca