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‘A Perfect Blend’

By Kathleen Knowles

Everyone has a dream.  Some realize those dreams, others do not.  For one man, the dream has come true. Growing up in a family with a history of attending The Salvation Army, David Everitt played in The Citadel band. The “Army” became an important part of his life.  Little did he know that years later, he would be reminded of his early years with The Salvation Army in a very unique way.  

David shared, “My interest in coffee began years ago playing at The Salvation Army kettles.  Mom would give me a couple bucks and said when I got cold to buy a cup of coffee at Diana’s, because it remained hotter longer than hot chocolate. She suggested I just hold it to keep my hands warm.  That, of course, led to drinking it!”

David first discovered espresso while in Florida at a coffee shop.  That led to purchasing his own espresso machine.  With his interest in coffee growing, he then bought his own roaster. Despite it being a long process, his interest in roasting coffee continued to grow. He began roasting his own coffee at home.  He became fascinated about where coffee comes from, how to obtain quality beans, and how to roast them.

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David explained, “The difference between the coffee you buy in the store and freshly roasted coffee is the time it takes to get the coffee from the roaster to grocery stores. Then, it sits on the shelves until purchased. Coffee is at its freshest 10-14 days after roasting.  It will be good for weeks afterward, but you do not get the same fresh taste.”

Red Kettle Coffee Roasters uses an air-fluid bed roaster that roasts the beans in a bed of hot air.  This is preferred for small custom batches. Mr. Everitt has also chosen 100% Arabica beans as his beans of choice for roasting rather than robusta. “Back in the ’60s, coffee was made with robusta beans. They were primarily in instant coffee and as a filler in ground coffee blends. It was not a good coffee.  That’s when people started putting cream and sugar in their coffee to make it tolerable.”    

The customer can select between extra dark, dark, medium, or light roasts, and whether they want it whole or ground. “Red Kettle Roast is our own brand of coffee; our own special blend.” 

The idea is to have a walkthrough coffee bar so people can come in and sample the different roasts, see what they like, buy a cup of their favorite roast, or buy a bag to take with them.

He is looking at having morning retail hours, as well as a coffee membership where members sign up and have their coffee automatically shipped to them, customizing it to their needs, so they always have fresh coffee.  Locals will also have the option to pick it up in the store.

The customer will be able to buy bags of whole beans if they have their own grinder. By grinding one’s own coffee, you can enjoy a fresh cup of coffee every time.  Not everyone has a grinder, though.  In that case, Red Kettle Coffee Roasters will grind it for you. Mr. Everitt said they would like to sell to businesses and individuals online and locally.

Red Kettle Coffee Roasters has a new home that has great significance for David Everitt. “ I was driving around, looking for someplace that would be suitable for the business.  I happened to drive by The Citadel and noticed the front space was empty.  The next morning, I called the owners and it was available for lease.

David’s girlfriend, Christina Reeves, pointed out that the interesting thing about their new location is the family’s history connected with the building.  “The building was at one time The Salvation Army church. David’s grandparents were the pastors.  His parents lived in the apartment above the church when they were first married.  The building was sold when the new location on Court Street was built.  However, The Salvation Army’s history, and its founder, William Booth, are still on display in the entryway of The Citadel today.”

After signing the lease and picking up the keys, a tour of the basement common area revealed there are still framed articles of Salvation Army history and pictures of a band that Rick (David’s brother) is in from the ’50s. So the history and his family connection are still part of the building today.  Therefore, the location of Red Kettle Coffee Roasters has a very special meaning for David Everitt.  “As a kid, my dad was the bandmaster.  We pretty much lived here, we spent so much time here!” The significance of it all is the family’s history tied to the building.

Having his new business at The Citadel for David Everitt is like returning home. The long history his family has with the “Army” makes it a very special place for the Red Kettle Coffee Roasters.  David has received so much out of his years with the “Army”.  He feels in some small way with the coffee roasting business, he will be able to give back.

It is always heartwarming to see someone realize their dream, as many never do.  David Everitt is on the threshold of realizing his.  More importantly, he is able to realize that dream in a building where so much has been given him and will be reminded with every coffee bean he roasts how life has a way of teaching you an appreciation for the past, and the importance of looking to the future.

For businesses looking for someone to provide coffee for the office, or for those interested in purchasing Red Kettle Coffee Roaster’s special blend to drink at home, visit their website at www.redkettleroast.com or contact David at info@redkettleroast.com. Once you have tasted his special blend, you will never go back to grocery store coffee again!

Blue Water Healthy Living offers its best wishes to David Everitt for a huge success with his dream come true!

Red Kettle Coffee Roast
609 Huron Ave. Suite B
Port Huron, MI 48060

This article was originally published on August 4, 2020 and has been updated.

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