Andytown Coffee Roasters started roasting and serving specialty coffee in the Outer Sunset in San Francisco in 2014. The single café and roasting space grew to today’s three café locations, including one where all the coffee roasting takes place.
Andytown brings specialty coffee roasting to the Outer Sunset in San Francisco, with the goal to make it a welcoming, comfortable, and extraordinary experience.
We got a chance to interview the company’s Co-Owner, Lauren Crabbe, in November 2017, and learned how she and her business partner (also, husband!) Michael created the cafe they always wanted in the neighborhood they live in. Together, they built Andytown off of the idea of taking care of people — taking care of their customers, their employees, and their neighbors.
How did Andytown get started?
Michael and I met each other in 2008 when we worked as baristas at a cafe in San Diego. I like to tell people that we fell in love over coffee. It’s cheesy but it’s true! Even before we started dating, we would fantasize about what we would do if we owned a cafe together. After we moved to San Francisco, we continued to talk about opening our own place. And in 2012, a cafe a few blocks from our house went out of business and we signed the lease. It took us nearly two years to build Andytown, and we opened in 2014.
Can you share a few facts and numbers?
• We currently have 43 employees
• We started roasting, baking, and serving coffee in 580 square feet, back in 2014
• It took 22 months to develop Michael’s grandmother’s soda bread recipe into production (yes, really!)
• We now roast 1200 lbs of coffee per week
• We made… 5202 Snowy Plovers in October 2017!
• Our new Taraval café is an estimated 500 ft from the Pacific Ocean 🙂
You’re good at this! Any fun facts?
Let’s see… Last year, we made more Snowy Plover beverages than there are actual Snowy Plover birds in the wild.
Also, there is no “Andy.” Andytown is a place, it’s where Michael grew up in Belfast, Ireland. Wait… This year, we adopted a cat and named him Andy. So I guess now there is an Andy!
Lauren, what’s your story, and how did you get there?
I got my degree in Photojournalism at SFSU. The whole time I was going to school, I was working as a barista around San Francisco. When I graduated, I got job opportunities in technology journalism and wrote for a variety of technology magazines and websites while still keeping my part time job as a barista at Blue Bottle.
After working the two jobs for a while, I realized that I got way more joy out of making coffee for people than I did writing about smartphones. I had a bit of a crisis—like, I just spent all this time and energy getting a degree and all I want to do is make coffee! At about that time, the cafe on 43rd and Lawton went out of business and we toured the space. The landlord offered us the lease even though we had only a rough business plan and no money.
Michael left his job and worked full time to build Andytown while I worked 3-4 jobs to support us and also put together the business plan and secure funding. We opened Andytown with no employees: we would come in at 5 am to bake, then work the bar, then close at noon to roast coffee. Then repeat the next day. It was really damn hard, but we were so lucky to have a viable business from the beginning and we were able to hire staff and grow.
Can you mention some of your products and clients?
We are really proud of our coffee roasting program. Our Wind and Sea blend is our most popular for automatic drip brewers. My personal favorite right now is the Ethiopia Bank Fuafuate. We also have some really cute merch like our beanies and thermoses.
We have a growing wholesale program and office coffee program. Our coffee is served in LinkedIn, Credit Karma, and we even have a full-on Andytown location in Square. Some of our favorite café or restaurant wholesale partners are Neighbors Corner, Matching Half, Lazy Bear, and Provender.
If you have a chance to come to our cafes, you should definitely try our traditional Irish Soda Bread! The recipes come from Michael’s grandmother and we worked really hard to adjust her recipes for California ingredients and increased volume.
Anything new at Andytown?
Since we grew earlier this year, we are able to say “yes” to a lot of awesome things. For example, we joined the Renegade Craft Fair on November 11-12, we’ll be at the SFMade Holiday Fair at CCA on December 17, and we have a few new San Francisco restaurant wholesale partners like Nopa, Commonwealth, and Homage.
What should we look forward to from you?
We are working on some really great stuff for the holidays! A gold-label special release coffee, some new merch, and a new and improved subscription service.
Why manufacture locally?
I love working where I live and I love living in the Outer Sunset. When we were looking to expand, we were torn—we needed more space, but we didn’t want to leave our neighborhood. Luckily we found a large commercial space on Taraval to move the roaster so we could continue to work in our neighborhood.
Why did you join SFMade?
I joined SFMade to get support as we grew. It’s so amazing to have access to the resources at SFMade and to talk to other San Francisco manufacturers who have been through the same thing we are going through.