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Normal Roasting Company in Burwell

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 12:17 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - We recently caught up with the owner of Normal Roasting Company to find out more about this unique small town business.

“The previous owners started this business in Normal, Illinois,” business owner Josh Holmquist said. “That is where the name originates from. They moved to Ord, Nebraska, and when they moved, they brought the roasting business with them. They operated out of Ord for a year, and then moved over to Arcadia. When we bought the business 4 and a half years ago, we were located in Arcadia. When we sat down to figure out drive time, the amount of time we would spend away from the kids, we decided to move the business to Burwell and put it in a building downtown.”

Normal Roasting Company has been in its current Burwell location for 4 years, and in the third weekend of July last year, owners started up the coffee shop up front. “We’ve been roasting coffee for four and a half years, and we’ve been brewing coffee for just over a year now,” Holmquist said. “We’ve been available online, we have a wholesale account, and we have coffee shops across the state of Nebraska, Iowa, and a couple in Wyoming.”

“With our online website, we’ve shipped to 41 different states,” Holmquist said. “Something that makes us unique is quality. We take the extra steps to look into where the coffee is coming from. We are trusting that our coffee importer is looking into where it comes from, how it’s harvested, how it’s raised, the actual culture, and how the farmers are being treated. Are they being treated fairly? Are the farmers treating their help fairly? We work to make sure everything is above board.”

The company is unique in that it’s also situated in a town of 1,200 in the Sandhills region of the state. “We like to show people you can do anything you want to, anywhere you want to,” Holmquist said. “Coffee is a quantity business, you have to sell lots and lots of it to make it work. And we are doing it in a town of 1,200. We like talking with FFA, high school and college kids who are interested in starting their own business, and showing them there is a different way to do business. You can live in a small town, on a farm, still work the farm and ranch, and still have a big city, national impact.”

The Normal Roasting Company coffee shop is open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday in Burwell.

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