Lovers of fresh roasted coffee gained a new option for their passion when Gold Ladder Coffee opened in late December in Essex Junction.
Located next to the Bagel Bakery on Susie Wilson Road, Gold Ladder is a small-batch roastery that brews up a wide range of coffees and specialty coffee drinks. But even diehards will have a hard time matching owner Kyle Goldberg’s love of the brew.
“My whole business approach is the love of coffee,” Goldberg said. “I find I go toward things I love to do. This is still hard work, but when I get here in the morning and open the door, I can feel the love. That’s what I try to pursue.”
Goldberg said he offers, “Espressos and lattes to our own little creations of coffee drinks. We have pour-over coffees, but we also have an air pot of coffee-of-the-day for people that are on the go.” Gold Ladder also serves nitrogen-carbonated cold-brew coffee, pastries from a rotation of local bakeries and Grand Isle-based Island Ice Cream.
“We have four flavors of ice cream for now, but will add more for summer months,” Goldberg said. “We can also pour a shot of espresso over a scoop of ice cream for you.”
Goldberg has been roasting for 14 years, and the vocation holds a very special meaning. He took over for his brother, Tad, as head roaster at the Bagel Bakery when Tad passed away. Goldberg said his brother instilled the love of coffee that now drives his business.
“My brother handed me my first cup of coffee when I came home from college,” Goldberg said. “He was my best friend and, for me, when I fire up in the morning and am roasting, I’m sharing a moment with him.”
Goldberg calls his approach straightforward. “I want to offer the freshest cup of coffee, and I try to monitor it. We also offer a lot of coffee options.” Gold Ladder currently has single-origin coffees from 13 different locations.
Gold Ladder roasts, grinds and sells wholesale to several area restaurants, and will also offer wholesale rates to businesses that buy in bulk. Its coffees are available for retail purchase at Shelburne Supermarket, Richmond Market and Lantman’s Market in Hinesburg.
The 1,000-square-foot shop has two employees besides the owner. Décor features Goldberg’s own artwork.
“As a roaster, I try to find the balance in the bean. Some aren’t meant to be roasted too light or too dark, depending on origin or acid content,” he said.
Goldberg also credits his father with helping shape his approach to business. “From a young age, I worked with my dad. He’d tell me, ‘Do the best you can at whatever you’re doing and if people enjoy that, they’ll come.’ So, that’s how I’ve tried to look at it.”
Rather than focus on competition from other shops or reaching a target demographic, Goldberg said he’s following his father’s advice to simply work hard and listen to the community.
“I grew up here, have a lot of good friends here, and wanted to bring my love of coffee to the local market, along with unique options for those who want to try different products,” Goldberg said. “You can get our house espresso, but you might want to try a fair trade organic Nicaragua as an espresso shot. And we can offer that.”
According to Goldberg, even the business name reflects deep attachment to family as well as coffee. “Gold comes in part from my last name, but also reflects a ‘gold standard’ for coffee,” he said, and the word ladder evokes a ladder to success. “That part also has a side meaning regarding roast types,” he said. “From light to dark roasts, you can go up the ladder of roasts.”
Gold Ladder Coffee is located at 30 Susie Wilson Road, in Essex Junction. Open Tuesday through Saturday, from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact the business at 662-4538 or www.goldladdercoffee.com.