The Rooted Bean coffee roastery, similar to a craft brewery, recently opened in Adel.
The business is located at 712 Cottage St. The entrance faces Nile Kinnick Drive South, on the side of Family Dollar. The Rooted Bean is an independent business that is subleasing space with the New Hope Church.
Laura Whitson, from Adel, is a physical therapist who was ready for something new. She decided to change careers and felt like she was being led down a different path, a coffee path that has a mission.
“The idea of a coffee shop came to mind. I prayed a lot about it and kind of felt God was like, ‘Ok, keep pursuing it,’ so I started taking classes with the SCA,” Whitson said.
The SCA is the Specialty Coffee Association, which is the coffee college. They set the standard worldwide. Whitson found two training sites. One was in St. Paul, Minnesota and the other was in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She took classes and became a certified barista and brewer.
“I didn’t love it, I mean, I love drinking coffee, but the whole process and all the chemistry, and the measurements, and the weights, and getting everything in specific time was really intense and stressful,” Whitson said. “But then I took the roasting class, I was like, ‘I love this!’ I fell in love with the whole process.”
Whitson continued, “The whole idea that every bean has a story and it goes through a two-year journey from when it’s picked to when it’s roasted and delivered in a cup for somebody. The people behind the process, the farmers, the heritage, the legacy that they bring to us. I loved everything about it.”
Whitson has already received some feedback. People are noticing the different flavor notes in the coffee. Similar to wine and cheese, it’s nothing that has been added, it’s just how the coffee is produced or processed to bring out the different flavors.
During the roasting process, the roast can go through three different cracks. The first crack is the light roast. The second crack is the medium roast. The third crack is the dark roast. Each crack brings out the different flavors. By the time it gets to the next crack, some flavors will have already burned off and other flavors will come to the forefront.
The Rooted Bean doesn’t sell the premade coffee with all the sauces and syrups. They highlight the individual uniqueness of every region that they get the beans from. They buy the beans from Cafe Imports out of Minnesota. Cafe Imports has relationships with the different regions in the coffee belt and ensures fair trade.
The Rooted Bean’s name came from Whitson’s desire to help people establish roots, but also carry on the roots and history of Adel.
As a child, Whitson grew up in a missionary family. She moved around a lot and never felt rooted anywhere. Since they have moved to Adel, the community has exploded with new growth and new people moving in.
“In Adel, we have a blend of people who are rooted and established and we have those people who are looking for roots to be established,” Whitson said. “My heart is to provide something for our community that highlights the beautiful history of Adel and the things that we take pride in, where those people who are new feel like they are grafted in.”
Whitson continued, “When people live here, they are part of that community. It’s rich in terms of history, but it’s rich in terms of relationships, and support, and love, and concern, and care.”
The Rooted Bean’s vision is Quality, Community and Compassion.
Quality - The Rooted Bean is getting a quality product that is high end. All the beans they buy are graded from 83 to 100. Beans are graded from a scale of 0, some say 50, to 100. The lower quality beans are used for the dark roasts that you are going to add syrup to.
Community - Whitson has a desire to deepen the community’s roots.
Compassion - With their wholesale license, Whitson wants The Rooted Bean to be something the community can use to benefit the schools, the sports teams, the churches, families who have needs etc.
Every month, Whitson chooses a different organization or person/family to give back to. The Rooted Bean’s donations are already planned through October.
In January, Whitson gave to the New Hope Church missionaries from Adel who are currently serving overseas. These missionaries are in Honduras and India. Whitson got beans from both Honduras and India and made a blend. They call it the Get Up and Go.
In February, they will be giving back to the New Hope Beginnings Preschool.
In March, a donation is going towards a couple pursuing adoption to help with home visit expenses and other things related to the adoption process.
In April, funds are going to an agency that helps provide supplies to families who receive a foster child and who need supplies quickly.
Whitson wants Dallas County to know that The Rooted Bean isn’t just about what they are doing, but it’s about relationships.
“This is for you. I know I own the business and I know this has kind of been put on my heart and I’m watching it unfold, but it’s not really mine. This is yours,” she said.
The doors will be open Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.