28 Feb

Creekside Coffee Roasting Co.: Sharing the cup of inspiration

Throughout our lives, the sources of what serve to inspire us arrive in several forms, from the human to the inanimate, and from moments to milestones and everywhere in between.

As Andrew Skrabak enjoyed what would become a 12-year career in food and beverage operations – which included a stint at Herr Foods – he stored an idea in his mind that saw him merging his professional experience and his entrepreneurial spirit with an industry that has drawn dreamers by the thousands in recent years.

The grand sketch of his idea – to begin his own specialty coffee roasting company – stayed with him as his career progressed from developing products for Stonyfield, the organic yogurt manufacturer, and then to Portland, Maine, where he spent a few years overseeing new product development for a coffee franchising company.

Born in Cochranville, the tug of southern Chester County and the clarity of his career aspirations were becoming too hard to resist, so together with his wife, Brittney and their young daughter, Ruth, Skrabak moved to Landenberg, and in April of 2023, he launched Creekside Coffee Roasting Company.

“Having the intersection of what I did professionally and my ideas as an entrepreneur dovetail, I began to realize that coffee was the perfect marriage,” Skrabak said recently at the Landenberg Store, one of ten locations where the company’s products are supplied and sold. “Coffee is one of the unique areas of the food industry where there is so much to learn and so many ways to learn. When I was working for the coffee franchising company in Maine, I got to learn the science of coffee, how it translates to sensory attributes, how to source it and roast it and brew it and how to serve it well.”

Through his partnership with Royal New York, Creekside’s products are mainly sourced from family coffee farmers in Costa Rica, Honduras and Brazil, Skrabak prepares coffee at the Landenberg Store using a roasting machine known as the San Franciscan (SF-6) that is equipped to roast small batches to better ensure premium quality.

While the primary technology used to roast Creekside’s products appears “Old World” in its design and function, the growing industry of organic and fair trade coffee is far from outdated. In 2022, the global market for specialty coffee was valued at nearly $22 billion and is projected to eclipse $51 billion by 2030.

“The growing demand for specialty coffee can be attributed to a variety of factors, including the desire for high-quality, flavorful coffee experiences, and increased awareness of ethical and sustainable sourcing practices,” Skrabak said. “As coffee culture continues to thrive, consumers are seeking unique experiences, with specialty coffee shops and cafes serving as popular social destinations.

“Coffee used to just play a role that provided its consumers with energy and a spark, but eventually, some early pioneers in the industry realized that if you place value on how you source, process and serve this product, it can become something not just to be used as a utility, but as a product to be enjoyed in the same way that food has been. There’s a

new emphasis on local production and quality products, and a consumer base that appreciates those two things. I view the role of other local roasting companies in our area not as competitors, but as comrades. We’re all fighting the same giant, not just for the consumer’s dollar, but for their appreciation.”

Skrabak’s aspiration is to expand his company to other markets throughout the region, a process that will be made easier through the soon-to-be acquisition of a mobile coffee van that will enable him to appear at public events. Woven within these plans, however, will be the motivation to share the other half of Creekside’s mission — an intangible one, far removed from the science of preparing sustainable, environmentally friendly coffee.

In fact, is written on his business card: Inspire Others.

“I launched the company because I thought that I had the ability to connect with people and inspire them to do what makes them happy,” he said. “I view myself as a potential tool to help and inspire others to pursue their own happiness, whatever that means for them.”

To learn more about Creekside Coffee Roasting Company and to place your order online, visit creeksidecoffeeroasting.com, email andrew@creeksidecoffeeroasting.com, or call 610-952-8645. To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email rgaw@chestercounty.com.

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