Fueled by coffee
Owned by Navy vets Brian and Joanna Derheimer, Inertia Coffee Company (4650 N. Nevada Ave., inertiacoffee.com) opened on November 11, 2016 — Veterans Day.
"Being 100 percent veteran-owned, we wanted to make sure we hit that date," says Brian. The Derheimers are relatively new to the coffee business — though Brian was a barista prior to his Naval career.
They decided to open a coffee shop while still in the service, as their Navy careers made it difficult to spend time together.
"We were really searching for a job that we could do together," he says. "We started looking into the idea of a café, and we said that if we're going to do the café, why not consider starting to roast our own coffee? It turns out, you can start home-roasting for about $30 — it's pretty cheap." For the most part, they're self-taught, an approach fostered by their military experience.
They buy their beans from Minneapolis-based Café Imports, who also supply Hold Fast Coffee Co. and Story Coffee Company. Unlike some, the Derheimers aim not for fruit-forward coffee, but nuttier, richer roasts, ultimately seeking the smoothest cup of coffee possible.
Aside from coffee drinks, look for pre-packaged snacks until local pastry contracts are locked down, soon.
The Sourdough Boulangerie (6453 Omaha Blvd.) has been selling breads in spots around town like Ranch Foods Direct and the Willamette Market & Deli. Now, owner Shawn Saunders has a brick-and-mortar storefront of his own, open Tuesdays through Saturdays. In addition to selling a variety of breads and baked goods available elsewhere, Saunders will have a few store-only specials — things that don't travel well.
"Certain things, you don't really want to bag up and let them sit," he says. He'll also be taking pre-orders at the store, including king cakes for Mardi Gras. They'll even have the traditional plastic baby, he says, included in bag on the side.
Moonlighting in coffee
Though Anthony Valdez started his coffee roasting business Day Moon Coffee (6058 Hollow Tree Court, daymoon.coffee) in 2014, he's only been in his North Academy-area spot since mid-2015.
"I haven't really officially announced [the space] yet," he says. "I only allowed people to start coming in at the end of last year." While the roastery has a cupping area, it's open by reservation only. He's currently building partnerships with local coffee shops — none as yet serve his beans.
Valdez is a former construction worker and self-employed home inspector. As a roaster, he's mostly self-taught, starting with an air popper and YouTube tutorials.
"All of my roasting experience has been from trial and error," he says. More recently, he took training courses through the Specialty Coffee Association of America. He hopes to have regular public hours at his roastery soon.