Chris May wants to introduce a few new concepts about coffee to Goshen. Most importantly, he wants to tell its story through its many forms of brewing.
May, an Elkhart resident and avid coffee and beer brewer, opened DIY Coffee and Ale Supply at 114 E. Washington St., Goshen, just across the alleyway from The Electric Brew, on July 4.
At his store, May sells anything from coffee cones for a basic pour-over method, to vacuum pots, which look more like chemistry sets. He also sells raw coffee beans and supplies for brewing beer.
Show and tell
Now, May is getting ready to start roasting and brewing coffee at the shop using all of the different methods made possible by the equipment on the shelves. During an interview Wednesday, Aug. 20, May said he’s expecting a final inspection to take place on Friday, and then he’ll start serving his own cups of coffee.
“We still have to implement some seating and get roasted coffee on the shelf, but we’re just going to go ahead and start serving coffee and grinding it as fast as we can,” he said. “We gotta start somewhere so we’ll just be raw about our approach. But the feedback (from the community) has been tremendous.”
May started roasting his own coffee about five years ago in his home. It had been a dream of his to eventually open a shop, and he thought Goshen would be the kind of place for the kind of business he had in mind.
Although he never really planned to open right next-door to another coffee shop, May said he is confident that the different approach he is taking will bring as many clients through his door.
He doesn’t plan to have wi-fi or offer mixed drinks with syrups. May said he wants the conversation to be about the coffee, —and the beer.
“Coffee is a big industry and there’s room for us both,” he said. “We’re a small operation, but small enough where we can get personal. I like to know what people like, how they like their coffee.”
The blends May is going to offer will include two Ethiopian naturals, a washed Ethiopian, a Kenyan peaberry, a washed Kenyan, two different Panamas, a Guatemalan, a Costa Rican and two house blends.
The other brew
May also brews his own beer. He started brewing last year, but he had started learning about the process and science of it about a year after he started roasting coffee.
Although he doesn’t plan on getting a license to serve beer at his shop, May plans to hold private reunions with other brewers. He’s also going to be able to hold tastings for both beer and coffee.
When he first opened his shop in Goshen, May didn’t realize there were many brewers in the area until people started walking into his shop.
“I wasn’t shocked – because Goshen just has that about it – but I was really excited,” he said. “The community has been extremely responsive, which has been great.”
May said that while he’s not planning on serving pastries or other kinds of drinks in the near future, that might change.
“I want to hear people talk. I want to see what they’re really wanting and I’m more than willing to work with the community. I want to keep myself open to what they want too.”
DIY Coffee and Ale Supply is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.