COFFEE MADE SWEET: New Aurora roastery’s specialty? Building community

first_img Peter Wanberg is opening Jubilee, a coffee roastery with artist studios in the back on Monday at 1452 Kenton St..Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel Peter Wanberg is opening Jubilee, a coffee roastery with artist studios in the back on Monday at 1452 Kenton St..Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel Okay, maybe the situation isn’t quite that dire, but the gist is clear: Coloradans, and Americans, for that matter, love their coffee. And urban coffee deserts? It’s safe to say they don’t get as much economic love as meccas of steamed milk.As the art of pouring the perfect specialty cup has proliferated in recent years, posh coffee shops have become expected commodities across much of metro Denver. And with that ballooning popularity has come the constant sight of well-off millennials marching through sleek doorways, toting iPhones and privilege. Video: by photographer Gabriel Christus explores Jubilee Roastery Co. But, to the chagrin of optimistic city officials, that jittery trend has been noticeably and painfully absent from much of Aurora. For decades, city planners and community cheerleaders have bemoaned the lack of spaces for residents to sip joe after theater performances and gather for community meetings — a trendy joint to cozy up with a bestseller on a dreary day wouldn’t be the worst thing, either. “There are so many things that we need, but at the top of the list is a place for people to go and hang out,” said Sally Mounier, city councilwoman for Ward I. “We’re not asking for much.”As of this fall, Peter Wanberg is aiming to fill that sleepy, uncaffeinated void. Wanberg is the owner and founder of Jubilee Roasting Co., north Aurora’s first roastery and specialty coffee shop, and one of the neighborhood’s newest community gathering places. A 23-year-old graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder, Wanberg has set his sights on creating a community asset founded on the bedrock of strong, specialty brew.Okay, maybe the situation isn’t quite that dire, but the gist is clear: Coloradans, and Americans, for that matter, love their coffee. And urban coffee deserts? It’s safe to say they don’t get as much economic love as meccas of steamed milk.“The hope is that this is not only going to be a resource for us at a Jubilee, but a resource for the community and for the neighborhood,” Wanberg said. “We want it to be a resource for the people around here — and not just the people who look like me, but a variety of people.”Wanberg has been working for about nine months to open Jubilee’s first location at 1452 Kenton St., which on the inside looks like a set from your favorite indie romance flick — think “500 Days of Summer” meets Pier 1 Imports. Glazed wood, pieces of local artwork and brown bags of beans line the concrete walls of the 2,000-sqaure-foot space, which over the years has housed everything from an auto body shop to a salon.But despite all the hipster tchotchkes, the stone building has been laid out and designed to make coffee — a niche pursuit in which Wanberg is more than well versed. After “messing around” as a home roaster throughout college, the young entrepreneur has slowly upgraded to larger, commercial roasting machines capable of cranking out far more product than what he used to yield on his Boulder stovetop.Wanberg currently imports several varieties of seasonal beans from four importers across the country. On a recent Monday morning, he was blending a brew that was 25 percent Ethiopian, 25 percent Guatemalan and 50 percent Brazilian.Specialty coffee has become a flourishing industry in recent years, according to Wanberg, who compared it to the skyrocketing trajectory of craft beer.“There’s kind of a whole specialty coffee world that’s emerging right now,” he said. “You see the craft beer industry picking up and booming and within coffee there’s kind of a similar sentiment for this desire among people looking for transparency, simplicity and quality.”“The hope is that this is not only going to be a resource for us at a Jubilee, but a resource for the community and for the neighborhood,” Wanberg said. “We want it to be a resource for the people around here — and not just the people who look like me, but a variety of people.”As of December 2014, the value of the U.S. coffee market totaled about $46 billion, according to the Specialty Coffee Association of America. Specialty coffee, which is defined by slightly more stringent parameters, accounted for about 51 percent of the volume share and 55 percent of the value share of that total.Economics aside, Wanberg said that in order to bring his vision for a dynamic community space to fruition, he plans to rent out about 1,200 square feet of studio space to artists in the back of his renovated building. He’s already built out six 80-sqaure-foot studios, which are currently being leased to a painter, a photographer and a leather worker. Wanberg said that he’s currently charging $150 per month to rent the artistic pods, and that he’s not married to the idea of leasing fees being limited to cash.“I don’t have this brilliant, perfectly laid-out concept centered on handing out lease agreements, it’s more a matter of, ‘hey, I’ve got space and some sub dividers that I built, let’s make this work,’” he said. “We just want people who are on board with creating a space that is a resource.”Mounier and other city officials — Mayor Steve Hogan is said to have stopped by a recent Friday night launch party — have long sought a concept essentially mirroring what Wanberg is aspiring to create.“He probably doesn’t know it, but he’s hit a gold mine,” Mounier said.Despite the high expectations, Wanberg said he’s fully aware of the history of the neighborhood — he grew up working on houses with his father, who’s a property manager, along Ursula and Paris Streets — and that he’s cognizant of the gentrification factors at play.“This place will be a reflection of me as a white 20-something because I’m building it and it has my fingerprint all over it,” he said. “The hope, again, is it’s not limited to that.”Wanberg has yet to confirm an opening date for his project, but said he plans to be open for limited morning hours within about two weeks and operating at full retail capacity in about two months. Peter Wanberg is opening Jubilee, a coffee roastery with artist studios in the back on Monday at 1452 Kenton St..Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinelcenter_img Peter Wanberg is opening Jubilee, a coffee roastery with artist studios in the back on Monday at 1452 Kenton St..Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel AURORA | A Front Range neighborhood without a coffee shop is reminiscent of an 8 a.m. college class.It’s neglected, passed over, and the sorry souls who do in fact pay a visit have little reason or motivation to stay awake, or around, for very long.last_img

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