Big Creek Coffee in Hamilton has expanded their seating and serving capacity at their flagship store by moving their roaster and office operations to Victor, just a mile north of Woodside.
Owner Randy Lint said he has had his eye on the property for a long time that meets the needs of the right space with road access for easy truck deliveries and coffee hauling.
When Lint opened his business in Hamilton he did the roasting in the Main Street business.
“We were tripping all over ourselves and as the business grew we developed more of a following for walk-in drinks,” Lint said.
Having the supplies to run a coffee shop meant cramped space in the back and left the shop unable to store an essential ingredient to the operation, unroasted coffee.
Lint purchased the Victor land and moved the roasters to the new location which opened up more seating in the customer-friendly Hamilton Main Street location.
Summer hours include staying open to 8 p.m.
“I lived in town 20-years ago when the movie theatre was going and it seemed that there was a more active community in the evening,” Lint said. “We’re going to stay open, promote the Big Dipper ice-cream, maybe have a co-op with the restaurants and invite people to come by after dinner.”
Revitalizing, rejuvenating and energizing downtown Hamilton is on Lint’s mind. With the roaster gone, floor space has now opened up and live entertainment is one possibility.
“I think we’ll have acoustic music once a week,” he said. “I want to do something to bring people downtown evenings on nights different from other businesses so we can compliment the efforts.”
The coffee house expansion was not part of Lint’s original vision of roasting great coffee for people to buy a bag and take home.
“It’s a happy accident and this is turning into more of a community space, which I am happy for it to be,” Lint said.
He currently has six employees plus himself.
“Elija (Engbrecht) loves roasting coffee and I’d love for him to be a barista more because he’s really good at it,” Lint said. “He’s just chill and makes beautiful drinks.”
Engbrecht and Lint are the main roasters and will mostly be at the new roasting site.
Lint bought a second roaster in 2015, placed it in his 450-square-foot coffee roasting garage but has moved that roaster to the new roasting site as his wife, Jennifer Lint, is now a judge and his building needs have changed.
The move has provided Big Creek Coffee with two roasters at the new site and an open house on Monday was the community’s opportunity to glimpse the roasting facility.
Lint said his goal for Big Creek Coffee is to do more business-to-business roasting for restaurants, grocery stores and wholesale opportunities.
“Our biggest new client is The Merc in Corvallis,” Lint said. “They have switched all their drip coffee over to us and do so much volume, they are a really busy store and a great customer.”
The new location will be the center for e-commerce and web sales. Big Creek Coffee Roasters has shipped roasted coffee to all 50 states and around the globe via U.S. Military.
“We’ve worked really hard to develop customers outside of the state of Montana,” Lint said. “That’s been my main focus for the last couple of years. We now have the elbow room to do it and the space to grow.”
The coffee house on Main Street has delicious coffee, Big Dipper ice-cream, quiches and sweet treats.
“The quiches are baked by Becky Mildenberger and her Little Birds Catering,” Lint said.
Weekdays baked goods are delivered from La Petite Outre and Morning Birds Bakery.
Lint has been working on packing redesign for the bags of roasted coffee for the past year with Mike Henderson of Big Red Barn Design. Each bag now has similar type and designs that relate to the region the coffee comes from, Central America, Africa and Guatemala. Blends have a topographic map of Big Creek drainage where the business got its name.
“It is a big change and will give us more visual appeal to jump off the shelves in grocery stores,” Lint said.
Enjoy fresh super-premium world class coffee roasted in the Bitterroot Valley at Big Creek Coffee Roasters, 301 W Main Street in Hamilton. Learn more at www.bigcreekcoffeeroasters.com or by calling 406-375-7508.