It was nothing like Peter Pelletier had ever had before and it changed his life. Coffee. Fresh coffee.
When Peter Pelletier received 2lbs of fresh coffee in the mail from his father-in-law, for the first time in his life he enjoyed drinking coffee. Having only experienced store-bought coffee in the past, he had no idea coffee could be so flavorful and aromatic. Thanks to that batch of coffee, Rochester, NY is now the home of Canaltown Coffee Roasters, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
Peter didn’t just jump into the coffee business. He began working at a coffee shop in Florida, where he and his wife lived at the time, and took in all he could about the retail side of the coffee business. Then, when father-in-law decided to retire from Kodak, they went into the coffee business together.
Since 1991 Canaltown Coffee Roasters has prided themselves on roasting high-end specialty grade green coffee, roasted fresh in small batches, right in their coffee shop on East Avenue. The key, said Peter, is to roast in small batches and sell it quickly so it’s always fresh. “My father-in-law told me, ‘get good coffee to begin with and roast it in small batches. You’ll succeed if you have a quality product, a decent price and treat everyone how you would want to be treated.’”
Peter is the front-end of the business, the person you’re likely to see behind the counter waiting to hand you a cup of coffee that he personally roasted. However, Canaltown also has a team of great kids (they’re like Peter’s kids, so he calls them kids), who work very hard to keep the shop running seven days a week.
At the time they opened there was just one other roaster in town. Today there are many roasters here in Rochester and that rebirth of interest in coffee is something that Peter says is very exciting. “When we opened there was no social media- there was barely cell phones. We advertised simply by word of mouth, the radio and newspaper. Now, all of these new shops are on social media and getting everyone interested in and talking about coffee. It’s good for everyone.”
While Canaltown Coffee Roasters doesn’t wholesale to a lot of places, we’re lucky to have their coffee available here at Hart’s. From every-day flavors to special holiday blends, stop by to try Canaltown Coffee for yourself. This weekend only, their Rochesters Choice blend is on sale for $10.99 (save $1)!