Before there was Bridge Coffee Company, owner Timothy Styczynski started roasting coffee in the kitchen of his home with a sheet pan, a wok and a popcorn popper.
Now Styczynski owns and operates a cafe and roastery converted from an old gas station garage in Yuba City.
From experimenting with different types of roasting methods, he has come a long way in connecting his passion for producing coffee with passionate coffee drinkers.
Bridge Coffee Company is the only locally owned roastery in both Yuba, Sutter and even Colusa County.
He’s working in a community that supports Starbucks, Dutch Bros. and other coffee chains. But he doesn’t see that as a problem.
“I don’t view Starbucks as my competition,” said Styczynski. “I owe my own joy for coffee to experiences I’ve had at Starbucks. Starbucks is not my competition, but they have my customer.”
By that, he means he would like to see customers of coffee chains step out of their routines and venture out to Bridge Coffee Company.
Through his business, customers have a roastery within their community and his knowledge of coffee.
For him to truly have competition he would like to see another locally roastery open in the community.
Styczynski said his love for coffee began back in the early ‘90s. At that time he was working on ambulances.
“I remember just being around dinner tables with my partners and sharing stories around a cup of coffee,” said Styczynski.
With the love for coffee, his affinity for espresso came to him when he was in college. Styczynski remembers just as if it was yesterday – the perfect shot of espresso.
“I can still picture the subway tiles on the wall, the barista, the espresso machine and the line of people,” said Styczynski. “The espresso they served, it was strong, but it had a depth to it that was really remarkable.”
Styczynski describes the espresso being a sensation sent to his taste buds that had a depth unlike any other espresso he’d experienced before.
“It didn’t taste roastery, it didn’t taste burnt (and) it didn’t taste ashy,” said Styczynski. “It just had this complexity to it and depth of flavor that I had no idea could happen from coffee. So then I started really obsessing about how to make that kind of espresso.”
After having that experience he later invested in an expensive espresso machine and grinder for his home, but little did he know that in order to recreate that experience he would need to get the freshest coffee.
“Where I was getting coffee from – it wasn’t that kind of coffee and particularly the drive through the ‘90s was darker and darker is better and better and was getting farther and farther away from that character,” said Styczynski.
In 1997 he began home roasting and right around that time he discovered a company called Sweet Maria’s, which caters to home roasters and provides resources of information on how to roast coffee at home. Sweet Maria’s supplied green coffee for him to roast with.
Styczynski recalls roasting on a sheet pan and how terrible the coffee bean was. He then tried roasting with a wok.
“(The wok) was amazing,” said Styczynski. “That’s a very traditional way that goes back centuries.”
After roasting with a wok he tried roasting with a popcorn popper. Once he found different methods that worked, friends, family and coworkers of his began asking for coffee. There were times people he did not know would approach him and ask about purchasing coffee from him.
Styczynski said he still has this love and appreciation for coffee.
In 2015 Styczynski and his wife, Jennifer, decided they would get their cottage food permit in order for Styczynski to roast coffee within his home and sell it.
They created an internet coffee business soon after and would go to farmer’s markets to sell coffee.
“One of the special things at the farmer’s market – I was able to share with people how unique coffee can be,” said Styczynski.
The farmer’s market established one of the very reasons why he named the coffee company Bridge Coffee Company Styczynski said.
“It’s connecting passionate coffee producers with passionate coffee drinkers,” said Styczynski.
Styczynski is in the process of expanding Bridge Coffee Company by converting an old fire house in Marysville into a much larger roastery and cafe.