When Aeronaut Brewing envisioned its new space at 14 Tyler St., the company knew it wanted to include other local food businesses in a sort of incubator. So when Aeronaut’s Ben Holmes approached Barismo, an Arlington coffee roaster, about shifting its operations to Somerville, it seemed like the perfect fit.
“After that initial conversation, we got a sense that it would be a good match for us,” said Barismo’s Tim Borrego, a Somerville resident. “We’re excited to see Barismo reintroduced a little bit closer to this area.”
Barismo celebrated its five-year anniversary as a coffee roaster last fall, but the seeds of the company were planted even before that when a group of baristas began getting together for coffee cuppings. They tasted and evaluated coffees from different roasters and were excited to have a business related to coffee. Ultimately the group decided that they needed to start roasting before they could do anything else.
So the founders started sourcing green coffee and got to work roasting in a tiny space in Arlington. In the years since, Barismo expanded its Arlington location to include a coffee bar, it opened Dwelltime in Cambridge and will now include the Somerville space, which will become Barismo’s wholesale roasting location.
“The people of Somerville are very supportive of local produced products,” Borrego said. “The Winter Farmers Market has been really excellent. It was a good opportunity for us to introduce our coffee to new people. They were really receptive to what we’re doing.”
Barismo focuses on single-state coffee, avoiding blends and de-emphasizing the degree of roast. The company highlights the farmers it sources from on its bags of coffee and Barismo’s direct-trade relationships allow those producers to negotiate better prices for their products.
“We’re highlighting the coffee’s inherent flavor notes,” Borrego said. Barismo works hard to cultivate its relationships with the coffee farmers it sources from, sending people from the company and the cafes it works with in the area on visits each year.
In addition to careful sourcing practices, Barismo tries to reduce its environmental impact by using bikes to deliver coffee locally. Borrego said that 90%-95% of Barismo’s coffee is consumed right here in the Boston area.
And the company hopes to expand that with its move to Tyler Street. Barismo has several cafe accounts in Cambridge and wants to enter the Somerville market next.
“We’ve seen support from individuals and the community itself,” Borrego said of Barismo’s presence in Somerville. “We want to see what it’s like opening up and being in this neighborhood. To see our neighbors who are selling coffee and get them out there to see what we’re doing with our locally produced product.”
Barismo also plans to expand its class offerings at its new location, which should be open later this spring. Currently courses are held on Sunday evenings, but the Somerville space will allow Barismo to host more classes are more convenient times.
“It’s come a long way,” Borrego said of Barismo’s growth before adding that the company is far from ready to settle down. “There’s still a lot of excitement in the core concepts of what we do. That’s what helps us move forward. We’re keeping the focus on moving forward and trying new ideas in the next few years and beyond.”
P.S. Barismo isn’t the only local-focused business taking up residence on Tyler Street. Something Gud, a local grocery delivery service, also calls the location home.