Our origins start with a lifelong love of coffee. For Mel, it started as a small child at his Finnish and Norwegian grandparents’ dinner table. For Jo, it started as a “social thing” during her days at Hesston College. Over the years, we drank lots of coffee – good and bad, and after years of talking about it, turned our love of coffee into our profession.
As a result of our passion for coffee, we read books, attended trade shows, and visited as many coffee shops as we could. At one of the trade shows we saw a roasting demonstration and instantly became intrigued at the thought of roasting our own coffee. After a three day roasting workshop, Jo fell in love with the roasting process and we knew we wanted to open a coffee roasting business to ensure quality while instilling our own creativity.
When we first started, we considered renting a pole barn to roast coffee and sell it wholesale – but Mel had other plans. He knew that in order to grow our wholesale business we had to grow our retail business first, because the experience behind the coffee was just as important as the coffee itself. When we opened our original location, we rented a space that allowed us to have the roaster right in the shop so our customers could have an all-around coffee experience. As our retail business grew, our wholesale business did as well, allowing us to be a distributor of espresso machines, brewers, and grinders as well as provide training for new coffee shops in the region. Eventually our wholesale business and clientele outgrew our original location and in 2015 we moved to a 3000 sq ft state-of-the-art facility and entered into a new adventure – brewing craft beer.
The vision for Ramblin’ Red’s came in early 2014 when we visited a craft beer and coffee establishment in Charleston, SC. Jo immediately fell in love with the atmosphere and the idea behind it. We both agreed that the same customers who enjoy their fresh roasted coffee also have a taste for quality brewed craft beer. Over the years at the coffee shop, we’ve had many conversations with coffee customers who were also “beer snobs”. We liked the idea of roasting our own coffee and brewing our own beer – and were convinced plenty of our current customers would like the idea too.
We knew our vision of a brewery could come to fruition with this new space; however, our expertise was in coffee, not craft beer. Luckily we knew a home brewer who shared our passion, and our first craft beer was served in Red Rambler Coffees September 2015.
Along with the micro-brewery, a state-of-the-art kitchen was built in our new warehouse, giving us the ability to add food to our ever-evolving menu. In addition to our baked goods and desserts, hot breakfast sandwiches have been added to enjoy with morning coffee as well as sandwiches and soups for lunch, and flatbreads and wings that pair perfectly with our craft beer.
With the new products and new location, we felt it was time for a new, more modern look for the Red Rambler Coffees brand. Our logo was unveiled on our website and social media in late 2015, while our tagline, “Something’s Always Brewing” was chosen to reflect the beans, hops, and conversations that are constantly brewing at the store.
When we opened in 2003, we wanted something that would set us apart, so we decided to roast our own coffee, and now we are brewing our own beer. Roasting and brewing give us control over the quality, consistency, and freshness of the coffee and the beer – which to us is crucial to our success.
The sight, aroma, and taste of our fresh roasted coffee and craft beer make a trip to Red Rambler Coffees truly memorable. Join us at our new location for an experience that’s unique to Wauseon – and Northwest Ohio.
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