Coffee grower-roaster expands to Petaluma

[caption id="attachment_90669" align="alignnone" width="500"] Guillermo Moran[/caption]

PETALUMA -- What estate vintners are to the wine business, Bendig-Moran Roasting, LLC, wants to be to the coffee business, and it's moving the tree-to-mug business to Petaluma this spring to accommodate a more than sevenfold increase in production after landing a major corporate customer.

Bendig-Moran ( imports green coffee beans from its consortium of Central and South American growers, roasts them on equipment made by co-owner Bendig Machinery, SA, then wholesales bags of Eco-Delight Coffee brand roasted beans and grounds to retailers and corporate clients, according to managing member Guillermo Moran, 59, a fifth-generation coffee grower in the mountains of western El Salvador.

The U.S. operation launched as a combination roastery and coffee shop in Suisun City in 2010 and now plans to open a 9,000-square-foot, seven-employee production facility at 1616 Corporate Cir. in Petaluma's Lakeville Business Park by the end of April. The new location will have a second industrial-scale roasting machine from Bendig.

"After many years of talking with growers, we wanted to start a coffee company here to get closer to the consumer," Mr. Moran said.

[caption id="attachment_90668" align="alignright" width="270"] A second Bendig roaster is en route for the Petaluma plant.[/caption]

While the U.S. doesn't have the highest per-capita consumption of coffee in the world, it is the largest consumer overall, he noted. California was picked for the venture because it has a large economy, big concentration of makers of specialty coffee, a populace that tends to be adventurous with food and beverages, and is national trend-setter, he said. Suisun City was chosen because it was located between Sacramento and the Bay Area.

The Suisun City coffee shop was started at the 700 Main St. facility as a way to introduce aficionados to the coffee. Yet the coffee shop ended up being a money-losing venture, so it was closed last year.

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