When Josh and Abby Schmitt first started roasting coffee beans, they never expected it to be more than just a hobby. They made their first batch of beans in their garage using a popcorn popper. Over the years, they went through about 20 more poppers before finally breaking down and buying their first coffee roaster.
They sure have come a long way since then! After nine years of roasting, In 2018, Josh and Abby established Banyan Coffee Company in Bradenton. They sold their first batches at the Bradenton Farmer’s Market before branching out to retail stores.
Banyan Coffee is a specialty coffee roaster with a focus on quality and freshness. They start with high-end, quality coffee beans that they roast in small batches every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This “on-demand” business model ensures that their beans aren’t sitting around waiting to be used.
Unlike the coffee you’ll find in the grocery store, which was usually roasted months ago, Banyan coffee is always fresh — and you can taste the difference!
We recently sat down with Josh to talk about their business and were quickly impressed with both his passion and extensive knowledge regarding all things coffee. He compares the fine nuances of coffee to what you’ll find in wine or craft beer.
When asked why they chose to open their shop in Bradenton, Josh said that they noticed there was an untapped market here: “There aren’t many great options for craft coffee in the area, and Banyan Coffee is something different that Bradenton can call its own.” It also helps that his wife is a third-generation Bradenton resident.
Josh went on to say that he and Abby want their coffee to be fun and inviting. Although you certainly could spend hours discussing the aroma, body, and subtle notes of each of their roasts, it’s not intended to be something that’s pretentious or intimidating. Josh and Abby prefer it to be a way for people to come together and enjoy themselves.
You can purchase Banyan Coffee products on their website or find them at a variety of area locations, including The General Store on AMI, Island Fresh Market in AMI, Back Alley Treasures, Fruitville Grove, REinspired Boutique, and Adobe Graffiti Lounge Kava Bar. If none of these options work for you, they’ll deliver their products for free to residents in Bradenton and on Anna Maria Island.
You can also find their mobile coffee truck at the Bradenton Farmer’s Market every Saturday. This 84′ Cushman (featured in the video above) comes fully loaded with cold brew coffee on tap (Nitro cold brew optional), pour overs, drip coffee, and hand-pressed espresso. It’s also available to rent for weddings, church functions, office gatherings, and more.