Bringing premium ethically-traded coffee to the Hub of the North
For as long as he can remember, Nate Hochstetler dreamed of opening up his own coffee roastery.
As a die-hard coffee aficionado, Nate believed that roasting and selling his own coffee would offer him complete control over the quality, taste and provenance of his product.
And when a former colleague, Galen, approached him about renting out the lower level of his bookstore in Sioux Lookout, Nate saw an opportunity to bring his coffee roasting dreams to life.
Why Not Fair Trade?The Hub Roastery does not endorse the Fair Trade certification model. While born from a desire to help support farmers and communities, Fair Trade certification is no longer living up to its chief promise to reduce poverty. Even Peter Giuliano, the father of Fair Trade coffee, no longer purchases Fair Trade-certified coffee for his business. Find out more.
With a background as an educator and principal, Nate knew he needed to school himself on everything there was on how to run a profitable coffee roastery business. Through a connection of Galen’s, Nate headed to Texas to meet with a prominent coffee roaster. The trip turned out to be a crash course in the coffee roasting business, with lessons on everything from the coffee roasting production process to packaging and business planning.
But the most important lesson they learned was about sourcing their coffee beans. While using premium coffee beans was important, it was also critical to Nate that he work with ethical, sustainable coffee farms to help provide a better life for farming families in the developed world.
The Hub Roastery is highly selective about the coffee farms they work with, demanding complete visibility over the supply chain from seed to cup. Today, they only trade with a handful of sustainable coffee growers in South America.
After learning the ropes about running a coffee roastery, setting up their roaster and passing their inspection, The Hub Roastery roasted their first small batch of coffee in the winter of 2016. Nate’s coffee roasting dream had finally come to life.
But launching The Hub Roastery wasn’t just about Nate’s personal ambitions. As the only in-house coffee roastery in the region, he and Galen knew there was an appetite for local, high-quality and ethically traded coffee. He saw an opportunity to provide an experience for the Sioux Lookout community that didn’t already exist.
The Hub Roastery is not a commercial coffee roaster.
When you buy small-batch coffee from us, you know it’s always fresh. We’re so confident in this freshness, we put the packaged date on every bag of coffee we make.
And people genuinely appreciate the care and attention The Hub Roastery put into their small-batch coffee. When Nate and his team hear it’s the best coffee they’ve ever had, it re-affirms that the business is doing the right thing.
The Hub Roastery has the spirit of Sioux Lookout at its heart. The team are ardent supporters of the community, supplying coffee for local events like the Blueberry Festival and Midnight Madness, providing coffee for local meet-ups and even creating custom coffee blends for local businesses. They run coffee tours and coffee tastings, where locals can see how the roaster works and sample a variety of Hub Roastery blends.
Whether they are supporting coffee farmers in South America or producing premium small-batch coffee on Front Street, Hub Roastery is always guided by a mission to enact positive change in their community.
From seed to cup, the Hub Roastery is committed to supporting ethically sourced and produced coffee. We roast our small-batch coffee in-house using beans exclusively from sustainable Central American coffee co-ops.
Nate Hochstetler, Partner
Nate Hochstetler is also a storyteller, an educator, a community builder and a lover of coffee. He lives his life with integrity and purpose. When he commits to something, he’ll stand behind it, promote it and see it through to success.
At The Hub Roastery, Nate is responsible for running the day-to-day operations of the business. With a keen eye for detail, he supports sales and marketing initiatives and attends coffee events and expos across the globe to sharpen his coffee roasting skills.
He is naturally inquisitive and loves to learn about new products, techniques and trends and meet with other coffee roasters to master his technique. With a background in education, he also loves to keep his customers informed about the importance of supporting direct-trade coffee farmers.
Nate is passionate about helping improve the lives of the farmers he buys from - ensuring they receive their fair share of profits- and supporting their local community to build more equitable and sustainable working and living conditions.
Nate has been a Sioux Lookout Resident since 1991. He lives with his wife and has six grown children and nine grandchildren.
It’s a tie between English River Morning and Juan Carlos. “I love both of these easy-drinking, full-bodied blends for their complexity and depth of flavour.”
Galen Miller, Partner
Galen Miller loves nothing more than spending time with his wife and 3 children. It is from that place of safety that he is able to pour a lot of energy into helping to run The Hub Roastery, The Hub Coffeehouse, Good News Books & Gifts and his property maintenance and excavating business, The Cedars Group.
Ambitious doesn’t even begin to cover it.
In his role at The Hub Roastery, Galen is a dreamer, a visionary and an astute businessman with more than 20 years of experience operating various ventures. He is self-taught and has learned everything he knows about the coffee roasting business through reading, networking and attending international coffee conventions.
Galen is passionate about roasting high-quality, ethically sourced coffee to help build and strengthen the connection between coffee farmers and the Sioux Lookout community.
When he’s not working, you can find him running, golfing or delivering books from his bookshop to isolated, fly-in communities in Northwestern Ontario. Did we mention he was also a pilot?
It’s a beautiful, bright, medium roast to start the day with.