Bows now serves INSIGHT COFFEE! Lucky Rodrigues and Benza Lance started Insight Coffee in the last couple months and we were fortunate enough to be one of the first places to serve it. The Insight cafe, where all the coffee is roasted, is located on 8th and S (1901 8th Street). I asked Lucky some questions about his business and coffee philosophy.
Can you tell me about where your coffee comes from and the process involved there? Why do you think this is important?
Our coffee, and all coffees that arrive in America come through a series of relationships between producers (coffee farmers), coffee mill operators exporters and finally US importers & coffee roasters. Our current selection of Central American coffees were two coffees that we have been familiar with for the past 4 or so years. Its the continual evolution of these key relationships that i think keeps coffee linking the human connection with farming the earth & working together to all understand how it is that we are able to provide these amazingly tasty coffees year after year.
How is your coffee different from coffee you might get at Peet’s or Starbucks? There are so many coffee shops…what niche do you fill?
Our approach to coffee in general is vastly different then those of the larger corporate coffee companies. Not only out of the simple fact of size, but product focus. Being a smaller company allows us to work with much smaller coffee estates and co-ops due to our smaller quantity needs. In return, we are able to focus much more on the relationship with the producers and develop a very intimate exchange. Larger roasters need to be, by default, more focused on quantity than quality. High quality coffee isn’t easily achieved in extremely large quantities.
Do you do a bunch of fancy espresso drinks? Or do you stick to the basics?
Were pretty minimalist here at Insight. Our focus is much more based on the coffee itself rather than the concoction that most milk or chocolate based drinks offer. We have most of the “classic” coffee bar drinks, lattes, cappuccinos, mochas etc.. but thats about it. We maybe offer about 10 drinks total at the cafe.
What kind of food do you have and where does it come from?
We are sticking to our roots on this one. We are a coffee company with an immediate focus on great coffees & the culture that we create through sharing them with the Sactown community. We offer Insight specific doughnuts from Doughbot, some muffins & other treats from Village Bakery in Davis and are looking to work with many other pastry providers in the immediate area. We do have cereal…OF COURSE…I mean, who doesn’t like cereal right?
Do you hope to have your coffee served in other Sacramento establishments?
We will eventually start building relationships with other companies that are interested in serving our coffee. Our main focus right now is building the cafe culture of our company, but do currently provide the AWESOME people over at BOWS & ARROWS with some tasty-ass coffee. We are very relationship focused, we want to work with people that match our ethics, not just sling our coffees to as many companies as we can.
On that same note, do you hope to expand to other locations someday?
Most of what we want to do is build other cafes. We really enjoyed this first venture, creating our home-base was an extremely exciting & emotional experience. opening those doors to the public is something Me and Ben have wanted to give sacramento for years. More locations, for sure!
What did you guys do before you started Insight Coffee? What made you want to start a coffee business?
Me and Ben have been working in coffee for almost 10 years apiece. Between the two of us we have worked with/for Naked Coffee, Temple, Old Soul and a slew of others. Staying in coffee was something we both realized that we had to make happen years ago. We opened Insight to stay in the coffee industry, not just to own something in it.
“We are a crew of passionate artisans that have a vast eclectic set of skills with a common love of coffee. All things coffee, sourcing, roasting, tasting, brewing & the culture that is the outcome of all of those things. We want to share our love of coffee with the Sacramento culture to help provide an “insight” into our tasty love-fest of all things coffee. We hope to do so until we’re old and gray.” –Lucky