The Taste of a Fundy Storm
In beautiful Bear River, a few miles from the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, and behind the historic doors of ‘the Rebekah’, are two jovial, passionate folks hard at work. Erin Schopfer and Jon Welch are two micro-coffee roasters of Sissiboo Coffee, a fair-trade and organic Nova Scotian product.
Their slogan is “fair trade+organic =happiness”. Not surprisingly beans containing happiness are addictive. It is no wonder therefore, that when we visited them we found the whole Annapolis Valley hooked on their coffee, including the Lobsterman, Dave, that picked us up hitch-hiking, to the farmers tending the snowy fields. We found Sissiboo Coffee to be a local daily routine, and a product of local pride. We were lucky enough to be taken-in by the micro-roasters and learn their story.
Jon’s family founded Bryers Island, Nova Scotia in the 1700’s. Jon and Erin met tree-planting, they were ‘lifers’ (as some who last only a season would say). While Jon put in 20 years of tree-planting and Erin put in 8 years, they always felt the call to the East Coast of Canada, it was just a matter of time before they returned to the Atlantic province.
Jon told us many stories of the wilderness of Canada and their tree-planting experience. My friends were not ‘lifers’ when they tree planted for a season or two, and therefore you can only imagine the stories I heard after Jon’s 20 years of planting experience — from grizzly bears, to mushrooms the size of a table, to his routine and method for planting, which became a finely tuned process. It is this orientation to process that struck us as a key to Jon and Erin’s current success.
After many years of analysing and learning about the coffee industry Erin and Jon made the careful to the decision to launch Sissiboo Coffee 3 years ago. The unique name ‘Sissiboo’ derives from the Sissiboo River in southwest Nova Scotia. This river was named by a Loyalist settler who mistook a Mik’maq who was pointing out six owls ‘six hiboux’ instead of pointing out the river.
Both Erin and John are still equally passionate if not more so about their love of fine and fairly produced coffee, there are no corners cut here. Jon checks each batch by eye, hand, and smell at least 4 times during his roasting method — a process that is applied to each 7 pound batch. (Yes only 7 pounds per each batch, the attention to each pound produced is simply amazing.) Each batch has an individual roasting time which has to be explicitly followed, a few seconds too long and the batch takes on an undesired flavour.
Sissiboo Coffee prides itself on lifting the day of its patrons and honoring the farmers that grew the beans, by producing fresh fair-trade, organic coffee. They are currently producing 7 different variations of coffee from their Nova Scotia location, ranging from an espresso bean, to a mellow and nutty roast, to a decaf.
The gorgeous new packaging below is released in the next month or so. We encourage you to hunt out their Fundy Storm, this can be tasted in many a fine Annapolis Valley establishments or by ordering online at www.sissiboocoffee.com