Torquay’s Costa Rica Plantation Co has a new owner and a more local focus for its coffee
The Costa Rica Plantation Co has been supplying local restaurants with coffee for 60 years, and new owner Peter Blake is keen to maintain the traditions and expertise of the company, while expanding the business.
Peter says: “The Costa Rica Plantation Co has been trading from the same premises in Abbey Road for over 60 years and two employees, professional coffee roasters Paul Bell and Gary Ireland, have 40 years’ experience between them. I want to build on these fine traditions and work towards a much wider understanding locally of the greatly superior taste of freshly roasted coffee and its powerful potential to attract customers and keep them coming back. I’ve also brought in a coffee technician and great character, Roger Keys, who really knows and loves his coffee and is superb at passing on that passion to others.”
When the Costa Rica Plantation Co originally started up, it was importing beans exclusively from Costa Rica but the company now selects a range of quality beans from around the world, roasting them on site, then immediately packing and delivering the coffee when the flavour is at its peak. New additions to its range include Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and Organic products from single estates.
Peter continues: “The English Riviera has been developing quite a reputation for locally produced food and drink, and coffee should be part of this. We are launching a range of new brands, one of which is our Devon Roast Coffee, prepared by local experts.” Peter adds that the company does not hold any stock, preferring to wait for orders before preparing and packing. “All our coffee will be delivered fresh where and when the customer wants it. A friendly, expert service and really good value is paramount,” he adds.
Local chef Richard Hunt from Torquay’s Grand Hotel joined Peter to watch the roasting process recently, and says: “This is a brilliant local operation that has terrific plans for the future and is a great asset to the English Riviera’s foodie credentials.”
Peter continues: “One of the unique features of the business is the ability to roast and blend an individual coffee product that becomes, in effect, the customer’s ‘house’ speciality. We hold more than 60 of these closely guarded customer recipes.”
Peter is currently building a team of local professionals to propel the business forward, as well as investing in barista training.
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