Today we’d like to introduce you to Kyle and Megan Kmetz.
Kyle and Megan, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
We both started out in the coffee industry over a decade ago, working as baristas, managers, and trainers. Kyle eventually pursued his passion for sourcing and roasting, seeking out opportunities in both areas wherever he could find them. Kyle ultimately worked his way up to becoming a roast master at both large- and small- scale operations across the country–simultaneously loving his job and daydreaming of opening a family roasting business one day. While working for an amazing company in the Midwest, he was encouraged to take the expertise he had developed to venture out on his own.
Because our hearts, friends, and families all resided out West, we decided it would be a natural move to head home to the Rocky Mountains and start up our own eco-friendly roastery in Fort Collins, CO. We opened the doors to Wander Coffee in November 2016 with our one-year-old son by our side and our new daughter ready to make her arrival just a few weeks after opening. It was a wonderful, crazy time that just felt so full of possibility and hope.
From the beginning, we have operated with the belief that great flavor and good conscience should never be mutually exclusive. Based on this mindset, we consistently utilize both technological advancements and sustainable practices to ensure that our beans are as ethical as they are delicious. Examples of how we accomplish this include paying our farmers above the fair-trade value, always using an afterburner while roasting, and packaging all of our beans in biodegradable bags. We believe the only roasting worth doing is the kind that proactively supports our farmers and the environment–and we make every effort to do right by both on a daily basis.
Jumping forward to 2020, we are thankful to have been embraced by so many wonderful customers across the Front Range. We work with approximately 50 wholesale partners in addition to selling direct to consumers across the U.S. at wandercoffee.com. We’ll never cease to be amazed by the outpouring of support from our community–and we make it our mission to provide each of our supporters with the best tasting, most ethical experience every time they drink a cup of our coffee. Now as a family of five (with three sweet kids aged 4, 3, and 1), we love getting to work, play, roast, and “wander” together everyday. It truly still feels like a dream, and we’re so grateful for every minute of it.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The old adage that balance goes out the window when you own a small business is absolutely true. Because we currently operate without employees or contractors–and parent without babysitters or nannies–every minute of our lives is simultaneously focused on developing great coffees and raising great kids. Date nights, socializing, and sleep have all basically gone to the wayside in the process, which can be tricky. Nevertheless, we receive so much fulfillment knowing that both our customers and kids are happy that it really does make all the hard work worth it.
Of course, at the moment, we–like most small businesses in our industry–are also facing a whole new challenge in the time of COVID-19. Because many of our wholesale partners have reduced or ceased operations due to mandates and regulations, we are certainly feeling the trickle-down. We have been blown away, however, by the support of customers ordering online and helping us stay afloat at this challenging time. At the end of the day, we are grateful to see our community “come together from afar” amidst the crisis, and are thankful that our family is still maintaining good spirits and good health.
Please tell us about Wander Coffee.
Wander Coffee specializes in small-batch roasted, specialty-grade coffees. We work with approximately 50 wholesale partners, providing custom blends and single-origin varieties to coffee shops, restaurants, co-ops, markets, breweries, and other specialty stores throughout Colorado and Wyoming. We also sell all of our beans direct to consumers through our online store. We are proud to have grown our business on our four core values of quality, sustainability, integrity, and community–and to have never once lowered our standards in any of those areas.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Most of Kyle’s favorite childhood memories involve spending time outdoors–catching frogs by the river, riding his bike around town, going on adventures in the mountains, and soaking up many winter sports. Megan also loved spending time in nature, using her time outside to make “potions,” craft flower crowns, draw pictures from the clouds and tend to various little critters. It’s pretty clear that these early experiences influenced our desire to help preserve the environment in adulthood and to pass on values of stewardship to our own kids.
- Sample Coffee Bags (4 oz.) – $4+
- Small Coffee Bags (8 oz.) – $8+
- Large Coffee Bags (16 oz.) – $15+
- Bulk Coffee Bags (5 lb.) – $67.50+
- Coffee Subscriptions – $55+
- Address: Wander Coffee
217 Racquette Drive, Suite 16
Fort Collins, CO 80524
- Website: www.wandercoffee.com
- Phone: 970.305.1224
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @wandercoffeeco
- Facebook: @wandercoffeeco
Wild Bliss Photography, Tatiana Davila Photography, and Hagen Reedy Photography.