Ask the Roaster
Click the link to hear more from Founder and Head Roaster Joel.
I first got bitten by the coffee bug many years ago whilst at university in Leeds. We used to get breakfast at the weekend at a great cafe and gallery, The Bowery, and often sat in there thinking ‘oh one day I’d like to do this’. Fast forward a few years and I was working for a large corporate playing games of email ping pong and making powerpoint slides… I picked up a small 200g roaster and began to roast at home after work, ordering small batches of green beans and eventually running a few pop up pour over cafes from our front room for the annual Saltaire Festival , as well as local farmers markets.
A few years after this I took the next jump and bought a larger 1KG manual roaster – and Jolly Bean was born. We sorted our first proper bags and labels, and we began to source high scoring speciality lots from ethical sourcing partners, storing pallets of coffee at my parents in Manchester and making a weekly trip on the M62 after work from Yorkshire and back to get beans to roast.
This trundled on just fine, but back in 2018 I got off the train home from work one day and happened to notice a closing down sign in one of our local high street’s beautiful old Victorian shops. A handful of excitedly rushed emails and an application form later, and we had the keys to what’s now become Giddy Arts. I left work, learnt how to shop fit (badly) and we opened up.
We have a little speciality coffee bar in the shop, serving commuters as they head to and from the station, alongside arts, crafts, and a reduced waste general store. All of a sudden though we found ourselves getting through a lot more coffee, we were selling cups and bags of it like never before, and I was spending a lot more time behind the roaster. Since then we’ve upgraded to ‘Tony’, our larger and more advanced roaster from Coffee Tech, and have been working on expanding our range and bean sourcing.