I first became a coffee drinker when I moved to Salem in 2005, slowly growing in my attention to coffee details and appreciation for truly great coffee. In 2006 I bought my first press pot, in 2009 I sprung for a high-quality burr grinder. By 2010 when I began roasting green coffee on my stove top I knew that my quest for great coffee had become an obsession. In Salem I had mixed success trying to find a reliable source of great (fresh) coffee beans. Eventually I began dreaming of a way to fill the fresh-roasted coffee vacuum in my beloved city, which has resulted in Steel Bridge Coffee, a business that combines two of my greatest loves: coffee and bicycles.
Steel Bridge Coffee may carry an aroma of "Portland Hipster" but if you sip deep and let the flavors dance across your palette you'll notice complex notes of capitol city character and small town sense. I love Salem and believe that progressive business models will thrive here in unique ways as liberals and conservatives practice coming together to appreciate great products, imaginative ideas and common sense strategies.
Nearly every day I ride my bicycle across the old steel train bridge on Union Street, a bridge that a few years ago I could only stare at longingly from the narrow and noisy Marion Bridge walkway. The conversion of the train bridge into a bicycle and pedestrian river crossing in 2009 was an imaginative and sensible idea that brought Salem together and enhanced our fair city's landscape of cultural treasures; daily it enhances the quality of life for all those who walk across it and breathe in the healing power of an awesome landscape.
At Steel Bridge Coffee, my priority is to deliver a truly great product: always. Like a well-built steel bridge, I don't want my coffee to be showy, just consistent, reliable, and excellent. Along the way if I can spark Salem's imagination to do business in new ways and embrace new cultural frontiers, I'll chalk it up as gap well bridged.