FosterHobbs roastery specializes in specialty-grade coffee
Mike Foster’s plan to open a coffee shop has been brewing for years, but the business he has now opened isn’t quite what he thought it would be.
Foster, a retired airline pilot, is the founder, owner and roaster of FosterHobbs Coffee, a new coffee roastery that specializes in roasting specialty-grade arabica coffee beans. He believes it to be High Point’s only wholly dedicated coffee-roasting company.
“I left the airline four years ago, thinking I would end up in a coffee shop, so I was visiting coffee shops all over the place,” Foster says, explaining he was looking for ideas to incorporate into his coffee shop. “Along the way, a consultant in the industry told me I needed to be on the coffee bean side of the business, and the next thing you know FosterHobbs Coffee was born.”
The company’s name is a combination of Foster’s last name and the maiden name of his wife, Pam, who runs the business with him.
As Foster points out, you can’t buy a hot cup of coffee at FosterHobbs — or a latte or espresso or an iced coffee, for that matter — but what you can buy, in the store or online, is a bag of freshly roasted gourmet coffee beans.
“What makes this appealing to most people is that getting any coffee soon after it’s roasted is significantly different and significantly better,” Foster explains. “There’s a sweet spot — from about two to four days after it’s roasted up to about two weeks, maybe a month — where the coffee is so much better. That’s what I call the sweet spot, and that’s the advantage of getting it fresh.”
By contrast, he adds, the best you can hope for when you buy coffee from the grocery shelf is a product that was probably roasted six months earlier.
“So (at FosterHobbs) you’re getting the best beans possible, and you’re getting them right after they’re roasted,” Foster says.
“There are two types of coffee beans — robusta beans and arabica beans — and we only sell arabica beans here. The arabica beans are known to be the better-tasting beans, and incidentally they have half as much caffeine as robusta beans.”
Also, Foster points out that his arabica beans “have been grown at just the right elevation and with the perfect soil for a quality you can’t find just anywhere.”
Currently, the company roasts and blends from four different coffee origins — Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica and Sumatra — bagged and blended in a variety of one-pound and two-ounce offerings.
In the process of opening FosterHobbs, Foster also developed what he calls Caring Trade, which is his personal commitment to ethical trading practices, a product of his Christian faith.
“When looking at various trade practices, I realized that I wanted to do everything I could to ensure that farmers, especially the ones who need it most, were paid a fair price for their products,” he explains.
“...Not living in different coffee origins makes it difficult for any company to be 100-percent sure of how their money is being spent, but Caring Trade is me saying that I will personally do everything possible to love others as myself.”
Foster also has developed an outreach ministry he calls Fill The Gap Concerts. Being a fan of modern worship music and of anything British led to the discovery that many Christian artists from the United States do very little or no touring in the United Kingdom, and he hopes to use a portion of proceeds from FosterHobbs to help fill that gap.
“Fill The Gap is the engine that drives this whole thing,” Foster says. “The outreach ministry is the whole reason for FosterHobbs in the first place.”
For more information about FosterHobbs Coffee, visit www.fosterhobbs.com.
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