Roaster Roundup: De La Paz Acquired by Four Barrel

When I interviewed Jason Benford of De La Paz Coffee Roasters in San Francisco for Left Coast Roast, we talked among saw horses. At the time—way back in early 2011—the company was planning to open a new cafe modeled on a nieghborhood bar—lots of counter stools, no obvious place to stand in line, lots of wood. As the book went to the print, we ended up pulling out a few sentences that described the space. De La Paz was running way behind schedule and it hadn’t opened yet. (It’s never good form to write about something that hasn’t happened yet in a book, our most permanent of literary forms—well, after petroglyphs).

Fast forward to early 2013. De La Paz still hasn’t opened a cafe, though they have been roasting coffee out of the half-finished SOMA-neighborhood space for the last two years, and have a cart out front. I was puzzled as to why until I stumbled on this recent article from Eater SF. Turns out Benford was trying to juggle two businesses, coffee and woodworking, and it was just too difficult to do both. Instead of let De La Paz go belly-up, though, he approached the folks at Four Barrel about a friendly takeover. Here’s more:

Four Barrel owners Jeremy Tooker, Jodi Geren, and Tal Mor…are planning to build out a new cafe in the company’s Mission St. roastery. Geren spoke to us about the Four Barrel group’s plans for their newest acquisition: “We want [De La Paz] to be a side project that’s different from Four Barrel, and focused on a different kind of coffee. While Four Barrel is focused on single-origin coffees, De La Paz will be focused on blends…we’re really excited to do this other kind of coffee, that focuses on sweetness and body.” … The Four Barrel team’s next task is building out a cafe in the De La Paz roastery, a project Benford had already embarked upon with Seth Boor of Boor Bridges Architecture, but had yet to complete.

So, another exciting project from Four Barrel, which is just on a roll these days.

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