We started Canyon Coffee out of our Santa Monica apartment in 2016.
Hi! We're Ally Walsh and Casey Wojtalewicz. We met in Beachwood Canyon in 2013. As our relationship grew, so did our love for coffee. Visiting beautiful coffee shops became a key highlight of our travels, and making better and better cups for each other at home became our treasured ritual—especially after spending weeks or months away from each other for our respective careers (Ally for modeling, Casey for music).
Casey started working in the coffee industry in 2015. First at Bar Nine in Culver City, and later at Menotti's in Venice. It was at Bar Nine that he met James, who was head roaster at the time. Both musicians, they became fast friends.
About a year later, it was clear that coffee had come to the forefront of our lives. We were used to regularly answering questions from our community on everything from how to grind coffee for pour overs to where to get coffee when in Nashville. At the same time, we were inspired and motivated by a community of entrepreneurship we were witnessing around us in Southern California.
We decided we wanted to put our passion into something tangible we could share. We asked James if he would like to team up with us, and he agreed. A week later, we met Fred, who helped us design our beautiful package. About five months later, we launched our web site and started selling our coffee online. Our friends Christy Dawn invited us to have a launch party at their shop in Venice, and we did just that in early October 2016.
To get the word out about Canyon, we started doing pop-up events on the weekends—about two to three every month for the first year of our business. Right away, we lucked out and got in to serve coffee for events like Mercado Sagrado and Echo Park Craft Fair, teaming up with the then-new Welcome Coffee Cart to pull off espresso for hundreds of people at a time.
For wholesale, we knew from experience how competitive getting into coffee shops is as a new roaster! Instead, we went to our favorite boutique shops. Places that inspired us like Individual Medley, General Store, and Midland. They gave us a chance in retailing our coffee, and we have always been so grateful to them for it! It wasn't just business for us, it meant that our coffee could be presented with care in a way that conveyed how special it is to us.
It wasn't until over a year after starting Canyon that we began offering coffee to cafes and hotels to serve. Since then, we've become increasingly involved with more new shops and projects, pulling from experience to help plan, lay out, choose the right equipment, hire and train teams to run successful coffee shops and programs.
A few years in, we feel so lucky to be pouring our love and energy into something we are truly passionate about, and to see it grow and accomplish its mission to brighten people's mornings. We feel grateful for all the friends we have made, and to be a part of such a wonderful community and culture of entrepreneurship-from-the-heart here in Los Angeles.
Now living in Echo Park, we are currently roasting in Chinatown with our office nearby in Silver Lake. We have a growing list of stockists that include boutique shops, coffee shops, cafes, offices, catering companies, and hotels. Our coffee is even served in ice cream! We helped open and are partners in Neighborhood, a new cafe on La Brea Ave. in West Hollywood, and are excited to be a part of new projects in Big Sur, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Nashville, and New York.
Not wanting our business to inhibit us from traveling, we've turned travel into a focal point of Canyon in making coffee travel guides that include our favorite cafe finds from our trips. They're free to download here on our site!
We hope you get a chance to try our coffee at some point, if you haven't yet, and we would love to hear from you :)
What we love most about coffee is the joy it brings to our mornings—making it for each other, family and friends. We like to drink it black to get the full flavor of the bean, and because it's healthy! When it comes to Canyon Coffee, then, our goal is to find coffee beans that can be brewed black, at home, and taste delicious to a wide range of palettes.
Since working with more accounts that serve our coffees, we also source unique beans and roast them to accomplish our partner's goals and please their customers!
Good coffee takes love, and that starts on the farm with the people growing and tending to the beans. It's our aspiration to have relationships with farms so we can help ensure the well-being of the farmers and their families whose livelihood depends on the coffee trade. That aspiration became real with our first visit to Guatemala in February 2018 to meet farmers and start to establish friendships with producers.