Next month, when Afficionado Coffee Roasters opens its first retail outlet, a coffee shop at 750 11th Avenue on the West Side of Manhattan, it will mark the culmination of a business strategy that started with establishing connections between co-founders and coffee farmers and evolved into bringing these connections to coffee lovers around the country.
Red and green coffee cherries are seen growing on a arabica coffee tree in Matalgalpa, Nicaragua … [+] where coffee is produced for export. (Photo by Epics/Getty Images)
Co-founders Adam Bossie and Paul Merces held their first lab roasting experiment in the New Jersey family backyard, back in 2007, by latching a turkey rotisserie and a perforated metal cylinder to the family outdoor grill. Mr. Bossie’s mother wasn’t pleased, but the duo was on their way. It took about two years, their life savings and a real roaster to create a coffee they felt worthy of their standards.
They first sold their beans at farmers markets around the state and then started to connect with chefs. “We wanted to be a sort of gastronomic coffee, a drink of choice at the restaurants we loved,” said Mr…