Mrinal Gokhale
City Business

Anodyne Coffee Roasting Company

The new cafe and coffee roasting shop in Walker's Point has an all organic coffee menu and a knowledgeable staff

By - Dec 11th, 2013 08:55 am
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The bar at Anodyne's Walker's Point location. Photo by Nick Brown.

The bar at Anodyne’s Walker’s Point location. Photo by Nick Brown of Daily Coffee News.

Matt McClutchy opened Anodyne Coffee Roasting Company, 224 W. Bruce St., in Walker’s Point this September because he needed a larger space for the huge-sized coffee roasters he wanted to use. His other shop is in Bay View, at 2920 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

With no written business plan or paid advertising, McClutchy opened both locations on a hunch, confident in sustaining their success. McClutchy is a coffee roasting enthusiast who wants to educate customers and his employees in the coffee-making process.

“I roasted coffee for years, and the more I learned about coffee, the more I loved it- where it comes from, who grows it and the journey it takes. Good coffee is all about quality and freshness. Our staff is very knowledgeable on the drinks because we all sample them together when deciding which we should carry,” he explains.

This cafe features dim yellow lights, tables, a mini stage, and the coffee bar with a visible roasting room behind with two roasters. A large tasting lab in the back is where McClutchy, roasters and baristas sample Central American and African coffees.

Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co. has an all organic coffee menu with 50 percent being certified by the Rainforest Trade Alliance. Coffees come from farms all across the globe including Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Mexico and more.  Other menu items include Rishi teas, coffee-infused beer and wine, pastries, breakfast foods, soups and sandwiches. The food comes from a variety of local suppliers.

“We just started the sandwich menu, which comes from Cedar Teeth. We serve three different sandwiches each day with one vegetarian option. Our soups and breakfast food comes from Elegant Foods in Madison. City Market gives us our muffins, cinnamon rolls and other pastries, and our cakes come from The Cake Lady in St. Francis, “ explained Danielle Williams, a barista with two and a half years experience.

Tasting lab. Photo by Mrinal Gokhale.

Tasting lab. Photo by Mrinal Gokhale.

Milwaukee Brewing Company delivers kegs and alcohol for the beer and wine options. Anodyne Brown Beer, made with Sumatran iced coffee, is a favorite of customers.

Prior to launching Anodyne, McClutchy worked for five years as a roaster and on miscellaneous jobs including at the Downer and Oriental theaters. He jumped at the opportunity to be his own boss in 1999, when a friend sold him the Brady Street place known as Brewed Café, and which became the first Anodyne cafe. “I have an entrepreneurial spirit, I gave it a shot and it worked out,” he says.

In 2006, McClutchy sold the Brady Street location to open the cafe in Bay View. “I believe there’s a lot of room for coffee companies to grow. Our number one goal is to sell great coffee.”

Ironically, there is no anodyne in the coffee. McClutchy instead picked the name he believes sounds good and describes coffee-like properties.

“I learned the word ‘anodyne’ while reading ingredients on a snake oil bottle. It’s a noun which describes healing properties. People depend on coffee to keep them awake every morning and take comfort from it in general,” said McClutchy.

McClutchy and his staff have learned which farms to do business with based on word of mouth and tastings. They recently added La Perla Negra Cascara Cherry Tea from Costa Rica.

“We recently had a roaster travel to La Perla Negra farm in Costa Rica, and he bought back the coffee beans and cascara skins,” McClutchey says. Coffee grows in a similar fashion to cherries: it ripens on the trees and farmers use the pits for coffee beans, and recycle the skins or “cascaras.”  Says McClutchey: “Five years ago, they started saving the cascara skins to use as tea leaves. La Perla Negra Cascara Tea is definitely one of the finer teas we sell here.”

Inside Anodyne Walker's Point. Photo by Nick Brown.

Inside Anodyne Walker’s Point. Photo by Nick Brown of Daily Coffee News.

College students and business people dominate the crowd at the Walker’s Point cafe, while the Bay View location mainly attracts families and regular customers.

“We know every regular customer’s name at the Bay View location and that’s what we want to establish here (at the newer cafe),” says McClutchey.

“I like to use dim lighting here to convey comfort and encourage a study environment. I use brighter lighting and music at the Bay View location,” which is a smaller cafe, McClutchey notes.  “When I saw how big this building was, I knew it was the perfect fit.  I like that both locations compliment one other.”

Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co. is open from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and 7:30 am to 9 p.m. on Sundays.

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