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Coffee roastery Ironclad lands in Scott’s Addition by way of Ireland

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Posted at 12:43 PM, Nov 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-02 12:43:01-05

RICHMOND, Va. — Beer-happy Scott’s Addition will have a different kind of buzz once Ryan O’Rourke’s plans start to percolate.

O’Rourke and his wife Kelly are launching Ironclad Coffee Roasters at 2904 W. Moore St. The couple has leased a 1,100-square-foot former print shop just off North Boulevard near Bow Tie Cinemas, where Ironclad plans to fire up its custom-made roasting machine in December.

The company will look to sell its beans online and at farmers markets, do various on-site sales from its Scott’s Addition home and would eventually look to add wholesale accounts with grocers and restaurants.

O’Rourke said Ironclad hopes to roast between 150 and 200 pounds of coffee each week once operations begin.

For O’Rourke, 37, Ironclad is an outgrowth of a family business and his being a self-described coffee nerd. His parents owned two coffee houses in Tennessee where he helped out after graduating from University of South Florida. While in Ireland working for an Irish cultural website, he found good coffee was hard to come by and started roasting beans at home one pound at a time.

“That trained me on the basics and gave me a foundation of knowledge,” he said. “I really learned the art and the science of it. It was almost a no-brainer to look into doing this full-time because it became my passion.”

O’Rourke said now is the time to invest in small roasters that cater to people willing to spend extra for a quality brew. He said the coffee market is undergoing similar changes seen in the food and beer scenes.

“The coffee scene tends to skyrocket right with them,” he said. “It’s anything but saturated given the curve and growth of craft beer. I really believe the coffee scene has a lot of room to grow.”

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