Richard Wirsta, who is opening Ledger Coffee Roasters
in the revitalized Garver Feed Mill this fall, was a home roaster who developed such a passion for roasting coffee, he left a 25-year career in corporate finance in May to open his own shop.
"I started just ordering coffee, green coffee, online and experimenting with different regions," Wirsta said. "Then, I kind of got a little bit more serious about this being a potential future career."
He began visiting an experienced roaster in Iowa, who has been acting as a consultant. Wirsta bought the same machine, and for the past year and a half has been learning about the roasting process, coffee profiles and attributes, and "sensory analysis."
Wirsta, 47, has continued roasting at home and consuming every possible YouTube video and article on coffee roasting.
Even though Ledger is a new business, he felt the Garver spot "could truly be that flagship location." He's been preparing for the career change for about three years and was attracted to the excitement surrounding the renovated Garver Feed Mill, off Fair Oaks Avenue, on Madison's East Side.
The location, near Olbrich Gardens
, is going to drive foot traffic and become an interesting customer experience, Wirsta said. Garver will be a gem, not only for Madison, but for the state. "It was just something that felt natural."
Samara Kalk Derby
Read the full story at Wisconsin State Journal