Downtown Nevada City’s new Crumbunny roasting and selling specialty coffee
July 11, 2018
According to a National Coffee Association's Annual Drinking Trends study, the average U.S. coffee drinker consumes about three cups of coffee a day.
Then it comes as no surprise that coffee shops are popping up all around the country, including a new one in Nevada City.
Crumbunny Coffee Roasters recently opened, owned by Bennett Jones and Amalia Royals. Jones started in a small coffee lab in Carmel By The Sea about eight years ago, only roasting and experimenting as a hobby. This establishment truly was a lab, with a variety of tools and equipment for Jones to work with.
"There's definitely a chemical process happening, there's thousands of chemicals in each bean," Jones said. "They're all excited by heat and motion and the airflow — everything affects them."
This chemical process warrants supervision, adjustment, and a lot of experimentation, according to Jones. He often sent out coffee to friends and family to get feedback and create the taste he was after.
"I even like to read a little poetry to them while they spin in the roaster," Jones added.
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Even if the beans aren't directly affected by the poetry, Jones says the poetry helps center himself, and ever-so slightly distract him so as to not micromanage and hover over the process.
When Royals stepped into the picture, the two started selling the coffee commercially. The new store got its name from Jones' dog, named Honey Bunny. Jones said that one day, Honey Bunny was licking up crumbs from the ground, prompting him to say "Well aren't you a little Crumbunny?"
From then on, the name stuck. It was just as Jones intended the name to be — organic, original and memorable. A day later, his sister made the logo.
Jones and Royals made frequent visits to Nevada City, and had always eyed the property that the store is in today. After much consideration, the property opened up to be sold, and the two took the leap.
"We realized that we really shouldn't be opening up a brick and mortar unless it's in a town where we wanna live for the next 50 years, and that's Nevada City," Royals said. "Carmel is beautiful, but this is where our heart is."
This led them to being the first legal coffee roaster in Nevada City since Sierra Coffee Roasters moved to Grass Valley in the 80's. They are now equipped with custom-made, up-cycled, hot air roasters. Each roaster takes about six weeks to build and only roasts one pound at a time, but the payoff comes with their low emissions and safety benefits. Jones envisions having 10 of these roasters to help expand their business, but not stray away from their morals.
But their down-to-earth nature doesn't stop there. Crumbunny is adamant about appreciating the process of coffee making, from the seeds of the tree to the cup.
"This is a bean — someone has spent their whole life growing a tree, having their family land, processing this bean properly," said Royals. "We want to make sure that people are getting the right amount of money for their effort. It's the same as when you buy organic beef or organic vegetables, you're slowing down the process. It seems unfair to the bean and the people who grew it to just be able to pour it out of the pitcher so fast."
Though their hours are still adjusting and they have yet to get the full approval from City Hall to put up a storefront sign, Crumbunny is open for business.
"We just want people to have a good cup of coffee," Royals said.
To which Jones added: "we'd like to make a living and make people happy."
Crumbunny is on 405 Commercial Street in Nevada City, across from HAALo. Tentative hours are Mondays and Tuesdays from 6:30 a.m. to "noonish," Wednesday nights, Thursday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Sarah Hunter is a University of Nevada journalism student and intern with The Union. Contact her at email@example.com.