In 2016 I was a photographer for the Powderhorn 365 Program Now in 2017, I have joined another program sponsored by the Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association: Powderhorn Business Reflections. Under this program, writers and artists showcase businesses and organizations located within the neighborhood. I’m a writer, and today I’ve just submitted my first piece.
Blackeye Roasting Company:
More Than Meets the Eye
When you walk into Blackeye Roasting Co. at 38th & Chicago, you could be forgiven if you mistake it for just another coffee shop. It’s in the space formerly occupied by the Blue Ox, and at first glance it doesn’t look all that different. But you might notice that it’s now arranged more like a bar, with several Blackeye-branded beverages on tap.
While Blackeye runs two coffee shops (the second being in the skyways), their main business is manufacturing beverages. This is no small-time operation: they’re opening a $1.5 million, 30,000 square foot brewing facility in St. Paul. They sell canned products in five states and expect to distribute nationally within two years.
Before starting Blackeye, Matt McGinn worked for years at Starbucks, Dunn Brothers, and private shops in Boston. He learned to roast coffee, but more importantly, how to make a really good cold brew. In 2013, he traded his moped for a home brew kegerator and began experimenting in his apartment. “I tried carbonating it at first,” Matt says. “That didn’t work. I would, like, spray cold brew over the ceiling trying things. We had to figure out how to nitrogenate it, make it come out of the tap and cascade like a Guinness beer.” McGinn and his partners invented nitroized tea, also.
Blackeye might soon be offering Norwegian waffles with savory ingredients: egg, bacon, prosciutto. “We’re excited,” Matt says. “We’re always open 7:00 to 6:00 here, every day of the week.”