My name is Eric Matthew Wilkinson and I'm the founder of the Flyover Coffee Club. My background is in film and video production but I've been impressed by some of our local small-batch coffee roasters and wanted to find a way to help bring them wider appeal and appreciation.
Some years ago I had a friend who had an espresso machine in his house. Not a consumer grade espresso machine, mind you, but a real espresso machine. It took up a whole counter and was hooked up to the water supply. He was picky about coffee. Every time I went over to his house I had coffee that was better than the stuff I brewed at home. I had not the presence of mind to ask him what we were drinking but I decided that I should try to buy better coffee. I wasn’t a Folgers type of person and I always ground my own beans, but beyond that I really didn't know what I was drinking. All I knew is that, no matter what I bought or how I made it, my coffee was never as good as my friend Dave’s. I finally found out that he was buying his coffee from his friend, Barry, who owned a coffee shop in the mall. It was called Riley’s.
My friend Dave passed away several years ago but I’ve never viewed coffee the same. It can be frustratingly difficult to get yer hands on a good roast. Most grocery stores can’t carry anything beyond the local-mega roasters. Many roasters don’t have distribution much beyond their shop and website. Barry, for example, doesn't have a shop anymore and his distribution is strictly by word of mouth and Facebook.
I always used to run out of coffee on the weekend. I’d head down the street to my local cafe to pick up a bag of beans. It was the best I was willing to do on a Saturday morning and it was generally disappointing. What they sell at the cafe down the street is the same stuff you can get almost anywhere and it is bitter and lacks depth.
I've since become better about making sure we have beans but I'm never perfect. And it's not nearly as mindless as my busy and lazy self would like. My wife has become adept at calling me a coffee snob because of my varied coffee brewing experiments. I can't do anything about what my wife thinks of my coffee snobbery, but I started the Flyover Coffee Club to help get better beans in the hands of people who appreciate a good cup of coffee while supporting local, responsible businesses.
-Eric Matthew Wilkinson