Mashpee company offers a variety of roasts and flavors, facility tours, and more

Cape Cod Coffee Roasters_DOW-1

Photo by: Jennifer Dow

Like most endeavors, success in the world of commercial coffee roasting requires a focus on and a commitment to the fundamentals. And in the coffee business, everything begins and ends with the beans.

At Cape Cod Coffee Roasters in Mashpee, the company uses beans imported from more than a dozen countries including Colombia, Costa Rica and Ethiopia, and the product arrives at the facility in large, 150-pound burlap bags. The burlap allows the beans inside to breathe, and if you didn’t know, the coffee beans—before roasting—are green.

“It’s really key to have good beans,” says Cate MacGregor, who owns the business with her sister Molly. “You really want to make sure your inputs are good. You need quality throughout the process. You can’t really skimp in those areas.”
In a back room, there is a small roaster where the beans are tested for quality and flavor—and to determine the best roast for them. If they pass muster here, the beans are brought out to the warehouse where they’re added to a massive furnace to begin the roasting process. The beans are roasted at temperatures ranging from 400 to 500 degrees, and each roast takes 10 to 15 minutes. In a given day, the staff roasts three or four different kinds of coffee, and all of the packaging is done on site. “We have a lot of capacity,” Molly says, “and we make it all here on the Cape.”

This coffee company’s roots date back more than a century, but the company did not have a presence on the Cape until 1970 when Demos Young branched off from his family’s business in Salem to open Cape Cod Coffee in Hyannis. Young later opened the Cape’s first roasting facility in Mashpee in 1987, and sold the business to the MacGregor sisters in 2011.

Filled with enthusiasm—and a passion for great coffee—the co-owners have been learning and perfecting their craft and growing the business ever since. “It’s been fun,” Molly says. “The learning curve was steep but we got there.”