February 21, 2020
One of Calgary’s best coffee stories began in Ramsay in 2007, when Cafe Rosso first opened its doors in a unique space tucked away just off Spiller Road. Owner David Crosby ran the shop himself for the first six months, until he hired his first employee early the following year.
In December of 2009, following the success of his little shop, which locals sought out for its fantastic coffee, pastries and atmosphere, David managed to open a second location in the downtown core, just off Olympic Plaza. In 2012, a third location opened in Victoria Park, one of the city’s original communities. David then partnered with his brother, Cole, and they began doing all their food in-house.
Soon they made the decision to begin roasting their own coffee, and brought a fancy Probat L12 roaster into their original Ramsay location. The brothers traveled to Guatamala, Costa Rica, Rwanda, Brazil, Columbia and other coffee-producing countries to source their green beans direct from producers, and continue to this day to return and nurture their relationships with those farmers and suppliers. They’ve learned the science behind coffee varieties, processing methods, roasting profiles, and have developed a line of beans that are adored by coffee-loving Calgarians.
In the summer of 2016, they opened a fifth cafe in the National Music Centre, StudioBell, and that December opened a fifth location on 17th Avenue, in the Beltline. Six cafes in the city’s central southeast—and they were all busy. In March 2017, they expanded north and opened a 7th location in Tuxedo.
In May 2018, the brothers’ knowledge of coffee was recognized as Cole won the Canadian Barista Championship, and went on to come in 5th in the World Barista Championship, competing among 58 countries represented. Today, the company is known as Rosso Coffee Roasters, sourcing beans from seven countries around the globe. Because each of these countries has a different style of production, different micro-climate and bean varieties, they strategically purchase coffee and carry it in rotation, in order to always have the freshest, in-season varieties available. Coffee enthusiasts are loyal to their beans, which are still roasted in small batches, seeking them out at stores like Calgary Co-op.
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Sometimes on a hot summer day, or after a job well done, you just want to crack open a cold one to feel truly refreshed.
Sometimes it’s the finishing touch that makes all the difference to a dish—an extra sprinkle or drizzle can add texture and balance flavours.