About Sidecar Coffee

Coffee should be fun. It should speak to you and make you smile. The goal of Sidecar Coffee Roasters is to listen to coffee and let it sing.

Sidecar Coffee Roasters opened in November 2012 in historic downtown Cedar Falls, Iowa. We carefully select special coffees from around the world and roast in small batches to maximize their potential. As a result, coffee never sits around long. You'll taste the difference! Coffee roasting is part art and part science, where extra effort pays off. Selecting coffees seasonally and developing a profile for each coffee yields a more memorable end product… your morning cup of coffee. Sidecar Coffee Roasters caters to coffee lovers of all types: home users (coffee tastes best in pajamas), restaurants, cafés, offices and break rooms. You Deserve Better Coffee!

The Sidecar Story

I'm lucky enough to work in the fascinating world of coffee. It's something I've wanted to do for a long time and it's been a fantastic experience getting Sidecar Coffee Roasters off the ground and running. 

People ask me all the time how Sidecar came to be. My wife was doing her PhD and I was reading a book about opening a coffee shop. One thing stuck with me. Roast your own coffee. Knowing that we'd be moving in a few years, it didn't make sense to start a coffee shop, but with $300 I bought a home coffee roaster and a sample pack of green coffee beans coffee. The result...nothing short of brilliance (at least I thought so at the time) No coffee I had ever tasted could compare to the fresh roasted coffee I was making on my front porch.

Fast forward to 2012... 


It wasn't until we found ourselves in Cedar Falls that the plan started taking shape. With a little cash and notebooks full of ideas, Sidecar was launched. I ordered a roaster, incorporated, found a space (the current roasting studio) and started planning. I didn't focus too too much on the little details and trusted that there were lots of people out there like me--people who wanted cool stuff and would support a local roaster. 

Things Started Move Fast

A few months after being open I was approached by my uber-entrepreneurial landlord about opening a cafe on College Hill. I said "YES", as long as I wasn't responsible for day to day operations so I could continue to develop the roasting business. He already had a third partner in mind to focus on the shop. On day 1 of being open, Sidecar Coffee Shop on the hill has been THE "go-to" coffee spot in town. It's been a great adventure, to say the least.  In September of 2015 we opened a second shop in Waterloo (Ridgeway Road). Who knows what will happen next...

Fast Forward to 2017...

In January 2017 (actually the last days of December 2016) we made the big move to Waterloo's Historic Wonder Bread Bakery. More space, actual windows, other humans (we're a roastery/cafe). It'sreal game changer for Sidecar Coffee Roasters and the overall Wonder Bread project is a game changer for Waterloo.


What does a coffee roaster look like? 

This is Sidecar Coffee Roaster's first roaster, a Diedrich IR 2.5. Not the biggest roaster, but perfect for developing my craft. I learned to repeat roasts with consistency and logged about 1500 the first year.  

In August of 2013, Sidecar Coffee Roasters ordered a second roaster, a Diedrich IR 12. Same awesome control-ability, just bigger.

At the Wonder Bread location there are many opportunities to experience coffee roasting up close and in person. Feel free to stop in, grab a cup of coffee and chat.