Pictures of coffee farms where Needmore beans come from hang on the walls of Needmore Coffee Roasters, the smell off coffee floating around the shop.
Katie Mysliwiec, the owner of the shop, named her business after Needmore, Indiana, the place where she grew up. Based out of 104 North Pete Ellis Drive, her woman-owned, small-batch coffee roastery and shop is now dedicated to roasting organic coffee, sourced from small-scale farmers around the world for customers to enjoy.
The Indiana Daily Student recently spoke to Mysliwiec about Needmore.
INDIANA DAILY STUDENT What prompted you to open up a coffee shop in Bloomington?
MYSLIWIEC As a kid, I have always enjoyed going to coffee shops with my dad here in Bloomington. I worked as a barista while in college. When I was ready to leave the IT field to do something different, I knew that I wanted to open up a coffee place in Bloomington focusing on ethically sourced quality beans, since it’s such a great place to come back to, and I would like to contribute to the community.
IDS Where do you usually get your coffee beans from?
MYSLIWIEC Mostly Central and South America at the moment, as coffee can only be grown at certain altitudes. There is a coffee belt that goes around the world. Central and South America are situated on this belt. We get coffee beans from countries like Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and we have purchased from Bolivia and Colombia in the past. Right now, we are sample roasting beans from the African country of Ethiopia, where coffee originally came from.
IDS Do you roast your beans right here in house?
MYSLIWIEC Yes. The roaster is here in house. We bring in bags of green coffee beans to make light, medium and dark roasts. We blend some of the roasted beans together, and others we keep single.
IDS What coffee blends do you offer?
MYSLIWIEC We only have two coffee blends. One is called the Cowles Bog blend. We use it for cold brew and espresso. It is a nice, balanced blend with hazelnut and chocolate notes, and it is actually the first blend that I came up with. We are also doing our Lotus Backstage Blend right now, which is named in honor of the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival. Thirty percent of every purchase of this particular blend goes back to the nonprofit Lotus Education and Arts Foundation.
IDS What are some important things that you learned while running Needmore?
MYSLIWIEC The heart of a shop is made up of all the people who are involved with it. When I first started roasting coffee, it was just me. Now, I have to make sure I train my employees the right way, place my trust in them and teach them the standards that I value the most.
IDS Can you elaborate more on the values that you just mentioned?
MYSLIWIEC Good customer service and product quality. If you don’t have a good product, it doesn’t matter how nice you are, and the same goes for having a great product but not be friendly, no one would want to come here. Familiarity with the products sold and being able to answer questions is also important. I want all my baristas to be able to inform our customers what our products are and why they are different.
IDS How do you want your customers to feel when they walk in the door? What do you wish to convey to them through the coffee and food you serve?
MYSLIWIEC I want everybody to feel welcome. We try to get to know our customers by not just their names and their coffee order because any coffee shop can do that. We ask them about their lives, as we are not just a place that they come to get coffee, but a place where they come to live part of their lives. Besides making people feel at home, we also strive to keep customers in the know about how our products are made and where they come from. We like being able to tell people everything.