Artisan roasted coffee brews up business at Rhubarb Market
When Tim and Alissa Unruh’s son, Aidan, a freshman at Hillsboro High School, approached them about a project for his entrepreneurship class, it began a process that led to the creation of Menno Beans, artisan roasted coffee beans in a variety of flavors.
The Unruhs are owners of Rhubarb Market, located at The Shops at Kessler’s, in Hillsboro. They’ve been operating there since June, and offer antique and vintage items, handcrafted furniture, repurposed pieces, baked home goodies, and now, Menno Beans coffee.
“Our son really likes the smell of coffee, but not so much the taste,” Tim Unruh said. “That’s why he chose coffee roasting for his business.”
Tim says his son did all the work for school, including legal aspects. When it came time to actually roast the beans however, they discovered he wasn’t allowed to have a coffee roaster at school, so they came up with an alternative.
“I told him we could get a small roaster and roast the beans at home,” Tim said. “We started roasting slowly; we could only roast about a pound and a half of beans per hour.”
The Unruhs started offering the finished product at Rhubarb Market in January and have had a good response from customers.
The Unruhs get the beans from a 77-year-old man who travels to a variety of locations with coffee bean farms.
“Some are a blend from the same region, but from different farms, and some are single origin,” Tim said. “Different soil types affect the flavors of the beans.”
Rhubarb Market offers eight different kinds of fresh roasted beans, including organic, a fair trade, and an organic decaf.
Alissa Unruh said when they first started offering coffee, she recognized a need for a bean grinder because a lot of their customers didn’t have one.
“Now you can get the beans and grind them right here at the shop with our grinder,” she said.
Rhubarb Market is open Tues., Wed., and Thurs., from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every week. The fourth Sat. of every month they are also open from 11-5, and offer sample tastings of their coffees along with baked goods.
“We like being creative and trying new things,” Tim said. “As artists, we create things we like. Seeing the joy in others when they like it too is what it’s all about.”
Last modified Feb. 28, 2018