Mochaberry Cafe and Roastery – four years of roasting

September 14, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

Troy Brett,  owner of Mocaberry at 177 Broadway, loves coffee, roasting coffee and expanding his coffee business.

After buying Mocaberry in 2010 and owning the cafe for a couple of years, Mr. Brett decided it was time to take over the roasting of the coffee he was selling.

“I was always interested in roasting, even before I had the cafe. Coming from Vancouver, there’s quite a coffee scene there, lots of cafes were roasting in-house there,” was his comment. “Roasting really matters – there are a lot of roasting wholesalers, roasting, then stocking and rotating.”

He explained, “This way, we can control the roasting time and the type of coffee. The Jamaican Blue (at $45 a pound), from my point of view, it should be as fresh as possible and we customize it.”

As a definition, “With roasting, the degree of roast level (heat and time) dictates the intensity of the flavour.

“Heat and time are the major factors with air flow, which is adjusting the amount of hot air coming into the roaster. There is fluid (movement) in the bed roaster. Hot air circles around the cylinder.

“Combining these factors is like writing a recipe, as such, a guideline,” he said. “The adjustments are made for the individual coffee to a person’s tastes.”

So, lower temperature and shorter time make for a lighter coffee. The air flow has to be adjusted based on the environment, if it is humid and so forth.

“We make minor changes as the year moves along to go with the changes of the season, now we moving a little all the time to winter. We have set parameters for various beans. For the density of the beans, we have over 400 different beans molecular changes. So, we are watching to make sure it is right – sometimes, we have to adjust and we analyze what we’re doing.”

It is not, as it might sound, a constant hoovering. The settings are made with care at the beginning of a roasting and kept supervised from time to time as it is going along. Usually, from start to finish, little is needed by way of alteration.

To learn all this, Mr. Brett relied primarily from the experts from whom he bought the equipment.

“They provided us with valuable information and, also, from other roasters, sharing information among us.”Within the cafe itself, there have also been changes. Emma Pink is their baker now in a kitchen they have created downstairs, making bagels, muffins, cinnamon buns and kitsch but with phyllo pastry, “just for a difference. All our  cookies are made here now.”

They partner with the local cook, who owns Saucy Girl, for their soups.

“I suppose we could make it ourselves,” he remarked, “but she does such a good job and it’s nice to support another local business. We sell coffee online too,” he added.

The ideas keep coming about serving healthy food and from many directions. Baked yes, but what about salads?

Last year, Mocaberry got its liquor licence. Great news and now cocktails are on the menu: “It’s all centred on the coffee,” decreed Mr Brett. “We have a Mocha Martini – it’s delicious.

“You start to see more options in our cooler with salads. We make our own chick pea salad.,” thinking for a second, passing the list through his mind: “yogurt parfaits. And now a charcuterie board, a nice match to a glass of wine or beer. In fact, we are staging evenings for live entertainment with wine or cocktails. The next one is September 20 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The singer is Jay Kipps. We’ll  do pizza with a good local beer.

“It’s fun,” says Mr. Brett, “to expand, try different ideas.”

Mr Brett and his wife Wendy came to Orangeville from Vancouver in 2004. It was  a bend in the road; family ties  drew them to this location and a feeling that it was time for a change encouraged them to leave Vancouver.

“We were both in professional jobs and were just ready for a change. We didn’t have any kids then and we were looking for a lifestyle change from the city to the country. Orangeville  was just right.

“I was doing accounting but I’ve always been in the food industry. Ten percent of my job was finance and the rest was customer service. So, I was more interested in the entrepreneurial spirit of business. Strategic planning.”

There is no doubting his enthusiasm for coffee: “I’ve always had a passion for coffee. With this place, I thought what does Orangeville not have and would love it? Well, it’s always to do with exceptional service. You have to have a system to make things work.”

By way of expanding his business horizon, Mr. Brett took a Mocaberry pop up at the Alton Mill’s Wine and Food Festival recently, which was a great success and an interesting exercise. Truth is, he looks forward one day to opening a Mocaberry in another location, using his principles of excellence in, especially, customer service and what is on offer for great coffee and food.

All in all though, this business is about people at its base: both those who patronize it and those who work there.

“The students that come to work for the shop over the summer are great and they come back over and over. One young girl started here, her first job, at 14 and, now she’s graduating from high school. I think it really tells something about Mocaberry,” he remarked. “In July, we start looking for staff for September. It can be a long time on your feet.”

For ambition, he offered, “One of the key reasons is to be more part of the community – how can I be more involved? That’s so important  to me coming from a job driving back and forth – I hardly knew my neighbours. I love to be part of this community; through the shop, we can give back a bit.

“There are so many amazing people in Orangeville. When you give without expecting anything back, people support the business. And we’ve been patient with the business – slow down and smell the roses..”

As important and more are his staff.

“I want them to be proud of whatever they do here, so that they do everything as well as they can. It’s my job to help them see those things are important. You should be happy in  your life, in your work.”

Find them at .

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.