Wider Horizons

What have we done?”

That’s what Paul DeMaere and his wife, Jacqueline, said to each other five years ago after they purchased a Paul DeMaerecommercial-grade coffee roaster. It was a risk they knew they had to take. Fueled by a love for exceptional coffee, the DeMaeres started Red Engine Coffee Roasters in their roasting studio in Lethbridge.

Having grown up on a farm near Granum, Alta., DeMaere says he appreciates the agricultural process and is committed to sourcing traceable, high quality, in-season beans from farmers who are paid fair trade prices and higher. When DeMaere visited El Salvador in 2014, he discovered the passion and pride coffee farmers have for their products.

“It’s great as a roaster to be able to get this coffee, and then at that point, roast it in the profile that highlights the producer’s hard work ,” he says.

Cory Medd, owner of Two Guys and a Pizza Place and a college alumnus, proudly serves Red Engine Coffee in his restaurant. “They source unique coffees that are traceable to the producer,” he says. “In fact, Paul has travelled to the coffee farm to shake hands with the growers!”

Both of DeMaere’s college diplomas influence his work. Creating perfect bean profiles is a science, as his detailed log books prove. His company is also environmentally conscious, reusing and composting whenever possible. His business education definitely plays a role in his venture and he’s excited to see his children already mimicking his entrepreneurial spirit. “We probably talk about coffee a lot more than most families,” he says with a smile – just before picking up another cup of perfectly brewed Red Engine coffee.

Wider Horizons
Megan Shapka
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