Keeping Coffee Local: Rimini Coffee’s Mark Wilson
If I ever want to feel like I’m walking straight into heaven, I will visit Rimini Coffee. The moment you step through their doors, coffee bean and chocolate aromas fill the air. The building is clean and immaculate, with old-fashioned coffee machines decorating the main room. In the back are barrels of hundreds of thousands of unique coffee beans waiting to be poured into the roaster, eventually transforming into a unique, local blend that’ll increase your coffee cravings.
For the last 24 years, Rimini Coffee has been the place to go for the best locally roasted coffee. Rimini Coffee’s mission is to create high-quality, handcrafted coffee beans, stating that life is too short to drink mediocre coffee. This local coffeehouse goes above what normal roasting companies do, selling products that reach beyond coffee lovers, such as herbal teas, Rimini’s Utah-favorite Dynasty Chai, a selection of 1883 syrups and more. For local coffee lovers, Rimini sells handcrafted coffee in five-pound bulk or one-pound bags. Mark Wilson, Master Roaster at Rimini, is dedicated to the art of coffee crafting and to creating positive relationships between his company and customers.
Rimini Coffee is a small business that’s run purely out of the love for coffee. “It’s three of us that keep Rimini running,” says Wilson. “If people want to get into coffee roasting, they’re going to have to love what they’re doing. You have to roll up your sleeves and get in—get dirty.” A typical day at Rimini starts with cleaning out and warming up the roaster. “Once we do that, I’m obviously going to make my cup of coffee,” says Wilson. “A product of management is making sure the coffee roasting tastes good.” Most of the day is completing orders, roasting as much as possible and helping customers. “We want to collaborate and build our relationships with the local restaurants that we already have businesses with,” he says. “It’s a domino effect. If their business is successful, then our business is successful. We’ll do whatever we can to make our customers’ lives and jobs easier, make sure it’s easy for them to make coffee and keep their customers happy.” Rimini’s focus on keeping their customers happy is such a vital part of their philosophy that they even offer barista training for free for restaurants and cafés that buy their product. “If you want to do business with us, we’d love for that to happen,” says Wilson. “There are things we’re going to do to help your business grow and make it succeed. Barista training is just one of those things.”
Beyond Rimini’s care for other local businesses, Wilson describes their philosophy in an endearing way. “Each bean has its own character,” he says. “They’re kind of like people. If you have someone from New York, they’re going to be a little different than a kid who grew up in SLC, right? You have to treat each bean a bit differently. Depending on the bean, you react to how you’re going to roast it to ensure that we make the perfect cup of coffee that we can.” If you’ve ever spent some time drinking coffee at Sugar House Coffee, Porcupine Pub & Grille or Coffee Noir—just to name a few of the local businesses who buy coffee from Rimini—then you know that they succeed in their goal of creating the perfect cup of coffee. Rimini sells various single-origins, but Rimini’s talent for creating unique blends is what originally started the company. “We’re always looking to make [our blends] better,” says Wilson. “It’s what we do—keep evolving.”
At Rimini, the focus is collaboration over competition. “I have no idea what makes us different,” says Wilson. “We’re all doing the same things. We’re all just roasting coffee to our best ability. What we try to do is take care of our customers, keep our product fresh and always check to see what’s new in the coffee world.” Rimini Coffee’s workers truly are down-to-earth humans with a passion for coffee and the craft of coffee-roasting—and that passion is exactly the kind of attitude it will take if you are thinking about opening your own company. “Passion, passion, passion,” says Wilson. “Get ready to work your ass off for a good four to five years until you get that base. Then you can exhale. Some people think of it as work—others think it’s fun. If you’re somewhere in between, then you’re doing a great job.”
Stop by Rimini Coffee Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., for some of the freshest, most delicious coffee you can find in the state—trust me, it’s incredible. And if you’re thinking about Christmas shopping already, Rimini will have gorgeous, coffee-and-chocolate-filled gift baskets available for your gift-giving needs. I know I’ll be buying a few this year! For more information, visit riminicoffee.com.