How It All Started

Mike and I have always shared a fondness for excellent coffee. It was the main attraction for many of our first dates. From brunch to mid-morning connections, coffee was one of the key ingredients to cementing our bond.

We often featured locally roasted beans from local coffee shops in our vacation suite for guests or visiting family and friends. That was until we bought the Whirley Pop on a whim.

Whirley Pop popcorn makers are known to make the best popcorn. The interactive roasting device depends upon a human to turn the crank and move the kernels.

But as a coffee roaster? Turns out the little device is a fantastic coffee roaster. Using the side burner on our barbecue, Mike roasted small batches of coffee in our backyard for about three years.

Mike roasting a small batch of coffee in the Whirley Pop while the house supervisor, our cat Random, looks on.

Eventually, we realized we may need to expand our efforts as our vacation suite became more popular and friends and family from the states visited a bit more often.

That is when we bought the drum roaster, which looks a little like a cement truck when operating. It doesn’t take manpower to move the beans and stabilizes the heat a bit more than the stove burner on the barbecue. It roasts artisan bags of 200grams (1/2 pound of coffee at a time).

Our personal love for coffee brewed up a new business idea. We are now nano roasters (very small batch) that brings the freshest coffee to our house and guests.

And, starting in 2019, we now sell 200 gram bags and pour overs (single serving cups of coffee) at farmers’ markets on the Sunshine Coast under the label Sweet Start Coffee Roastery.

Our Roasts

Roasting is a full sensory experience. There are the pops of first crack and the steady crackle of the second crack. The changes in the beans themselves as they darken and their structures break down. The smoke signaling changes in temperature and bean.

We currently take our bean to four different roasting levels:

City +: This is our blonde roast. Light roasts are light brown in colour with a light body and no oil on the surface. They have a toasted grain taste and pronounced acidity. This roast has the most caffeine and flavour of the origin.

Full City: This is the roast level we serve as a pour-over at Farmers’ Markets. Full City is roasted past the first crack but pulled prior to reaching the second crack. The beans will be a rich caramel colour with very little oil. The flavours of the origin can be savoured.

Full City+: Full City+ is the “dark side” of a Full City roast. This is where the bean has barely entered the second crack. A few snaps are heard and the roast is then stopped. It’s a perfect blend of our dark and mediums in one bean!

Vienna: Vienna is where the beans have come to second crack. The beans will just begin to show an oily sheen. Darker roasts have a pronounced roasted taste, but less caffeine. This is the darkest we take our coffee for it still retains flavour from the origin.

rt Coffee Roastery - Gibsons

Where to find Sweet Start Coffee Roastery:

Roberts Creek Community Farm Market
Roberts Creek Hall (inside)
Wednesdays (year-round)
1:30pm – 5:30pm

Want to pre-order your favourite roasts for pick-up? Now taking online orders at