Dan Dampier had a busy career that required a lot of travelling and being away from home. Starting Wolfhead Coffee gave him time to be with his new family and start a challenging venture. He took business courses and weighed his options before deciding on what market to pursue.
“I quit my engineering career and started building this business,” Dampier said. “After I roasted the first few batches of coffee as a home roaster I realized the whole process was not very time sensitive, I could roast at night or in the morning, it led to a very flexible lifestyle that worked with having a young family.”
Dampier let Wolfhead Coffee evolve as it fit into their lives. Gradually expanding as market demand increased and they gained a loyal following. He assembled and modified his own roaster to meet his needs for the size of his shop. Dampier has also created a method for smoking the beans, giving them a distinct flavour.
“We were looking for something different," he said. "Coffee is a widely traded commodity. We’re in this market trying to differentiate ourselves.”
“We tried out some other flavouring methods, the smoking was the one that seemed to stick and I enjoy doing. We didn’t find anybody else at the time.”
Their cinnamon applewood smoked offering is one of their most popular products.
“Recently in the last year or so, we started doing a really dark roast. A lot of small roasters don’t like to do the dark roasts. This one’s called the Filthy Sailor,” Dampier laughed.
“Some of the guys that run the tug boats, they were looking for a dark roast coffee. I gave them some and they said, ‘Can you do darker?’ And I said 'OK!' So I just kind of did it as a joke for them and it’s as dark as I could go without feeling like I’m going to light the coffee roaster on fire.”
Ethiopian Yirgacheffe and Guatemalan are other top sellers. Dampier is always updating his options and looking for ways to be distinct. Evolving his selection based on customer demands and current trends.
Wolfhead Coffee stands out for its local connections, catering to the unique palette of the people who live in the region.
They are currently working on a nitro cold brew, canned and ready to go. They have spoken with local breweries with the potential to team up for this venture. Right now this brew is available for special events in keg form. They hope to have hickory smoked nitro cold brew accessible in a can in the near future.
Watch for that at your local grocery store potentially this year. Wolfhead Coffee has a great website for direct orders and their Facebook page is always updated with new information about new coffee blends, product availability and more.