At Acaia, we value our global network of partners. Our partners are accomplished coffee professionals in both their local and international communities. In this series of interviews, we highlight our resellers and customers and who they are.
This month, we spoke with Jared Linzmeier, owner of Wisconsin-based Ruby Roasters. In 2013, the business started out as a micro roastery, functioning out of the owner's garage in the rural village of Amherst. In two years, Ruby rapidly grew thanks to online coffee sales and moved their roasting to a warehouse in neighboring Nelsonville.
Since then, Ruby has expanded and opened their own cafe and restaurant in Steven's Point, WI. The space has a rotating menu of their own coffee beans and dishes made of local ingredients. We speak to Jared about the philosophy behind the company, how they use Acaia on bar, and what is coming up in Ruby's future.
You can now find an exclusive Ruby Roasters Brewguide here.
This interview has been edited for clarity.
What inspired you to start Ruby Roasters?
Experience and sourcing were the inspirations for Ruby. It all goes back to sourcing. Prior to Ruby, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to coffee-producing countries. I noticed some delightful and exciting coffees during my time working with producers. Many could easily feature as single-origin offerings. Since starting Ruby, it’s been our goal to bring these coffees to the forefront of the marketplace. This also gives us the opportunity to honor those farmers.
Reaching more consumers by framing coffees in a way that is approachable and accessible has always been inspiring. I’ve always had this idea of giving someone a bag of nice coffee that many people end up saving for a special occasion. But I want to make that coffee accessible to drink every day.
What are Ruby’s main values and goals? How have they developed or changed since the company started?
One of our goals, in the beginning, was to have a year-round coffee menu from direct relationships - which we now do. The other day I was thinking about the relationship we have with the Prentice family in Guatemala for our Finca De Dios Coffees. I’ve had a relationship with them for 12 years now. Those years helped us get to the point where we can have their coffees on our menu for a much longer time. Colombia Aguacate was also the first coffee I sourced for our menu when Ruby started 9 years ago. And we’ve had it on our menu ever since. I prioritized relationships throughout Ruby’s history and our menu really speaks to that.
What is your favorite coffee that you have recently served and how was it prepared?
We just launched our Colombia Aguacate. It’s been a foundational coffee on our menu since the beginning of Ruby and we’re very happy to have it back. A lot of what we brew up at our roastery is a pour over.
How do you approach roasting and make it your own?
We lead with sweetness. We also seek out specific flavor profiles from the relationships that we work with to create a menu that has both balance and variety.
What do you think of the local WI coffee scene now compared to 5 years ago?
We love that the coffee scene has grown and changed. We’ve definitely noticed growing support from our local Wisconsin-based customers in the last five years which we’re very grateful for. Being that our headquarters is located in a small rural town, we’re really able to take the time to specifically focus on what we’re doing.
How do you use Acaia on bar?
We’ve had some of our Acaia scales in use for years. Since they’re so durable, we’ve been able to use them in many different ways, including quality control, staff training, and espresso brewing. We truly appreciate how accurate and reliable they are.
Are there any projects you and the team are excited to be working on now or in the future?
We’ve got some exciting projects happening here in Nelsonville. We’ve recently acquired some additional space and are expanding our operations at our headquarters. You’ll have to stay tuned.
photo credit: Leah Knights @leahknightscreative.