Atomo Coffee Scaling Upcycled Coffee Production With New Facility
Atomo Coffee, a Seattle-based coffee company, is opening its newest facility to scale its upcycled coffee grounds formulated from date pits. The 33,547-square-foot plant will enable the company to produce approximately 4 million lbs of coffee grounds a year. Prior to this facility, Atomo was working out of a lab where it was producing approximately 1 lb of coffee a day. Andy Kleitsch, CEO of Atomo, said that moving from lab scale to a full production line is one of the only times you scale up more than 10 times your existing capability.
Staying inside Seattle and all together in one facility was a must for the company’s operation. The next months will include figuring out the back end of the facility, which will involve installing machinery that is 100 times larger than what they have in their lab. This will ensure that Atomo not only produces more but also matches or improves on the taste and quality of their product.
Before the construction of its coffee grounds facility, Atomo was constructing a cold brew plant, but shifted gears because coffee grounds offered the company more flexibility in terms of more product channels. The benefit of having a grounds factory is that we support multiple coffee formats as we grow. One example is we can leverage existing coffee infrastructure to support extraction cold brew. We have built our product at a more elemental level to support future growth of additional coffee formats.
With the extensive manufacturing process its coffee undergoes, Atomo has not found a co-manufacturer to replicate its process. That has been the challenge. Atomo has had to reimagine what a roastery looks like, which is a combination of a beer brewing facility, a cracker making facility, a coffee roastery and a packaging line.
In addition to its Seattle facility, the company has a date pit upcycling center in Coachella, Calif., to process approximately 10,000 lbs of date pits daily from farmers and upcycle them for coffee grounds. Atomo has invested approximately $12.5 million into both facilities.
The company’s goal through its new facility is to drive consumers to coffee shops, as they can’t buy Atomo Coffee anywhere else. Atomo’s first coffee shop partner is Gumption Coffee in New York City, who are well respected in the coffee industry and advocates of reducing food waste. While Atomo primarily focuses on its upcycled coffee grounds for now, Kleitsch said the company may be looking to expand into other coffee channels in the future.
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Source: Coffee Talk