STORMY MONDAY Featured in Flagler News Weekly: The Big Five

A few weeks ago, Dani from Flagler News Weekly reached out for an interview after seeing our company mentioned in a Facebook post by Moonrise Brewing Company. We're thrilled to be partnering with Moonrise to supply the coffee for their all new Sunday Brunch menu and can't wait to head over and try it out! 

Below is a repost of the article: 

The Big Five … with Joe & Barb DeSouza, Stormy Monday Coffee Roasters

Tell readers a bit about yourselves. How did you end up in Palm Coast?

Thanks for the opportunity to introduce ourselves and our business to your readers!

We’re Joe + Barb DeSouza, New England transplants who moved to Palm Coast in 2004 — just in time to be welcomed by the rowdy greeting committee of Charley, Frances, Ivan, + Jeanne.

Growing up, Joe and I each enjoyed visiting Florida with our own families and later, vacationing here with a family of our own.  Per the Northeast Handbook, we always knew we’d move here someday, because that’s the rule, right?  After a few more winters with 100+ inches of snow, we decided not to wait until retirement to make the jump.

 

Have you always been in the coffee business? If not, what inspired you to get into it?

Not always, but it’s always been in our genes. Joe’s grandmother grew coffee in her back yard in Brazil, and growing up he got to enjoy excellent Brazilian coffee daily…while my mom joked about running the “neighborhood coffeehouse,” with so many people coming through her Maine kitchen daily – but I’m certain that was more for her company and plentiful baked treats than her endless coffee supply. Being raised in New England, we were surrounded by independent micro batch coffee roasters; good coffee was a daily requirement!

Our own journey started in the early 1990s, when Joe took intensive coffee roasting training with Equal Exchange, a worker-owned fair trade cooperative that works directly with plantation owners. There he learned the entire process from green bean to cup. We soon began roasting coffee at home with a tiny roaster that vented plumes of smoke out an upstairs window all winter!

The internet was new(ish) at the time, so our weekends became quests to find green bean suppliers for all our “experiments.” When we couldn’t find beans to roast ourselves, we’d visit as many coffee roasters as we could find. We dreamed of the coffee business we’d start “one day;” we even developed a few business plans and had cards printed.

Over the years, priorities shifted to raising kids and trying to survive until bedtime (amen, parents?), then a cancer diagnosis up-ended our family, putting everything else on the back burner for a handful of years. But through all of life's storms, the love of coffee and quest for the ultimate cup has always been there … waiting for the perfect timing.

[Sidebar: Back in the late 90s we owned the domain name, “ultimatecup.com.” Yup. That one still hurts…]

When did you open Stormy Monday Coffee Roasters?

We thought the timing was finally right when we launched as Stormy Monday Coffee Roasters in late 2018. We opened our online shop and would set up tent at local farmers markets in Palm Coast, Marineland, and St. Augustine. We loved meeting new people and chatting up fellow coffee lovers.  We developed a dedicated fan base and loved seeing our coffee tagged on social media from across the country and beyond: from the Bahamas, Haiti, and even India!

We were off to a strong start until 2019 found our personal lives busier than ever with TWO of our kids getting married that year. Well, “2020 will be better,” we thought…Then the world met 2020. As everything shut down, our plans to grow became more about planning until we could be about doing again. Though our public + online presence temporarily waned, we continued roasting for local customers, churches and businesses. To coin a phrase that happens to also be the name of our most popular signature blend, everything leading up to this point has been a prelude to the “Perfect Storm” now converging!

Today, our efforts are mainly focused on expanding our e-commerce presence and learning how to continually grow our audience and scale with global market trends as we move forward.  We still do some local farmers markets + vendor events, though. Being able to meet our customers gives us something decaf never could … a thrill!

 

What’s the difference between being a roaster and having a coffee shop?

Some coffee roasters have coffee shops, but not all coffee shops have roasters.  As a coffee roaster, we source green coffee beans from several suppliers and plantations and do the trial-and-error work that goes into developing our own unique blends. Roasters put in the long hours of behind-the-scenes testing, sampling, and tweaks to culminate in the most flavorful minutes of your day!

Coffee shops are great. We love supporting the local businesses and mom + pop shops! Many non-franchised coffee shops purchase their beans from specialty roasters like ours.

A café with on-site roasting is in the works! We’d love to create a space where we can live up to our company motto: “Passion for Coffee – Compassion for People” under one roof — a community where a moment of refuge from life’s storms can be found amidst the murmur of stories and laughter as the aroma of coffee fills the air…

Why is a good cup of coffee essential to a good day?

The temptation is to answer, “When you know you know,” but it’s true.

Coffee isn’t for everyone, but many need that first cup of Liquid Motivation to become human. For those whose first morning sip goes beyond the utilitarian and sets the tone for their day, we believe it should be something worth savoring. We can’t always control what happens once our days start unfolding, but we can control whether or not we face those days with something we enjoy.

Coffee is more than just a beverage, it’s a part of our culture. It’s not just what we drink, it’s what we do. It’s a silent player in our lives: We meet friends over coffee. We make plans and big decisions over coffee. Future spouses are met over coffee. Major business deals are signed over coffee. It’s in our boardrooms and in our waiting rooms. We comfort someone with a cup of coffee. We give it a place all its own in our homes. It accompanies the most expensive cake you’ll ever eat at our weddings. We name our breaks after it. Enjoying a good cup of coffee creates an opportunity to do something just for yourself.

Find out more at www.stormymondaycoffee.com