From Spanish Sisters, Bluebell Coffee Blooms in California
A specialty coffee flower native to Spain by the name of Bluebell Coffee has come to life in the northern California town of Grass Valley.
With a cafe that opened in the spring and a roastery that went live in early August, Bluebell Coffee in the United States follows a sister operation in Valencia, Spain. The two entities are separately owned and operated by literal sisters Marian and Yolanda Valero.
Marian Valero started the new Bluebell upon taking over a 450-square-foot space previously occupied by a company called Fable Coffee in downtown Grass Valley, about an hour drive north of Sacramento. At the corner of the art deco-style Del Oro Theatre, the shop offers counter services and limited sidewalk seating.
The Valencia cafe, located in the lively arts district of Ruzafa, has a kitchen, more seating and a more substantial food program, although both locations aim for warmth and vibrancy.
“Both are very welcoming and charged with a special energy,” Yolanda Valero recently told Daily Coffee News. “At the time people enter through the door, they feel happy. The women who work in both cafes couple the music, decoration and obviously the high quality of coffee with everything we serve to make this a reality.”
In Grass Valley, the wood- and plant-filled cafe features a La Marzocco Linea PB for espresso preparation, a Fetco system for batch brews and V60 manual brews. A trio of Mahlkönig grinders break beans for the different preparations.
Meanwhile, in Spain, the cafe occupies the ground floor of an older building with brick, tile and stone surfaces, while potted plants and vines throughout emphasize a connection to nature.
“In both locations it is our duty to dedicate time to anyone who enters the café, to allow the client to have a nice moment with us,” Yolanda Valero said. “Life runs too fast, and small oases of peace are needed.”
The Valero sisters founded Bluebell Coffee in 2014, and the Spanish business — including a roastery with a Probatone 5 machine — continues to be operated by Yolanda.
During the pandemic of 2020, Marian Valero was working with one of the Spanish company’s coffee suppliers in Colombia before traveling with friends to northern California for what was initially planned to be a short visit.
“Her love for the American culture, the lifestyle in Grass Valley with the exuberant nature and the cultural wealth of its neighbors, made her spend more time down there and delay her return to Spain,” Yolanda Valero said. “She eventually decided that it was the perfect place to open a second Bluebell. We can never know what our lives will bring.”
Marian purchased Fable Coffee’s Diedrich IR-7 roaster this past summer to further propel the Bluebell name stateside. While the two businesses remain separate, the sisters are working together on green coffee sourcing, with a focus on women-owned and women-led farms.
“I am already contacting our suppliers in Spain who normally also import coffee in California,” said Yolanda Valero. “Empowering women in producing countries is our priority. It is always clear that the quality of the product is guaranteed.”
Bluebell Coffee USA is located at 167 Mill St. in Grass Valley. Tell DCN’s editors about your new roastery or cafe here.
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Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.
Source: Daily Coffee News