Biz Buzz Monday: Coffee roaster opens shop in Galena

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from the tri-states. In addition to this update from Galena, Ill., we will highlight developments from Dubuque and Bellevue, Iowa, in Tuesday’s edition.

Three years after starting a local roasting operation, a Galena business owner now has a coffee shop to showcase his creations.

Galena Roasters Coffee Shop opened at 118 N. Main St. in late May.

Co-owner Earl Thompson said he was quickly drawn to the art deco storefront, which features large windows that allow passersby an intimate glance into the space. Thompson also was attracted to the location, which is nestled within the portion of Galena that has been closed to vehicles and established as a hub for outdoor dining and pedestrian traffic.

“When the town is busy, we are right in the middle of it,” he said.

Thompson’s journey to this point can be traced back to 2018, when he began roasting coffee on the third floor of the property that houses The Grateful Gourmet, a Galena-based kitchen supply shop owned by his wife.

Galena Roasters initially focused on providing coffee for The Grateful Gourmet but expanded its wholesale presence consistently over the past few years.

Thompson said he attended roasting school and began selling his coffee to local coffee shops, Airbnb locations and other local businesses in the area.

“I became more and more interested in it,” he said. “I sort of got bitten by the bug.”

Galena Roaster Coffee Shop is a joint venture between Thompson and business partner Paul Auwerter. In addition to selling coffee, espresso, cold brew and other beverages, the shop sells a variety of sandwiches, snacks and baked goods.

Thompson said the early response to the business has been positive.

“We’ve had positive feedback on the drinks, and people seem to love the space,” he said. “It has been going well.”

Thompson hopes the shop will expose more people to his coffee products and, in turn, help him expand the wholesale footprint of Galena Roasters.

Galena Roasters Coffee Shop employs nine workers. It is open from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days per week. The business can be reached at 815-541-0941.