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 GALILEO COFFEE 
7mesh lies at the heart of the Sea-to-Sky Corridor, stretching from Horseshoe Bay near Vancouver through Squamish, Whistler, and into the Pemberton Valley beyond.  Though the character of each community varies, they share exposure to the beautiful geography and geology of the region and the expansive Canadian wilderness beyond.  The unusual Coastal/Mountain character of the Sea-to-Sky has attracted an amazing collection of craftsmen and creators who are defining their own niches in their chosen professions.  “CORRIDOR” showcases the creativity and artisanship of the men & women that inspire us.

Nestled in the trees along Highway 99, on the shores of Howe Sound, lies Galileo Coffee. Housed in a century-old building that has taken many forms, Galileo Coffee is both a café and a small batch roaster - serving commuters and visitors to the Sea to Sky region as well as supplying restaurants and grocery stores in the area. We visited with Lance McClure to see the process and have a short Q & A.

How long as Galileo been in Britannia Beach?

9 years this October.

What brought you to the Sea to Sky region?

Coffee start up business and the regions opportunity.

What is the history of your location? 

1905 historical home, first engineer of the mine owned it. Mr Mathison.

Is it really haunted?

Sure it is!

What drew you to roasting coffee? How did you get started? 

Luck as it were, I applied for a bakers job at a local coffee company in Ellensburg, Wa while finishing University. That’s where it all started. I was offered the roasting job instead.

Would you consider coffee roasting a form of craftsmanship?

Absolutely. It’s all craft. Man vs machine vs green coffee beans.

Describe the process of roasting? 

Longish story. Basically you heat the beans to a desired darkness. How you get there is the craft of the roast.

What do you consider the perfect roast? (or your favourite bean)

Many actually but Sumatrans and Africans tend to be a favorite.

Where do you get your beans from? 

Several different importers.

Favorite varietal?

Ethiopian Harrar Misty Valley.

Favorite region? 

Same as above.

Hazelnut or Irish cream International Delight?

What?

What’s your favourite song to roast to?

Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.

Have you considered expanding into beer, wine or any other category?  

I brew at home. That’s as far as I’d like it to be for now.

If you weren’t roasting coffee what would you be doing?

Above.

What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about the coffee business?

Evolution of the customers needs.  And how marketing directs that need.

 

What is the hardest part of running a successful business?

We are successful? Ha ha. Without Cara Barth my partner it would be impossible.  Staying focused on a day to day basis and making sure everyone is paid including yourself.

If you could change one thing about the Corridor what would it be? 

Better modes of transportation that work for the people that would use them.

What makes you proud to live in the Corridor?

The people I know that put out the effort to make it better.

Who influences you? / Who is your role model, and why?

Not sure if I have any really, I actually like watching people succeed in what ever they are doing. I think that pushes me to do better.

Describe your perfect ride.

The best is after a rain the day before, cleans the trails, better traction, cleaner air, forest seems alive, and being able to share that with friends

Favourite activity outside of cycling?

Stand up paddling in Howe sound, so amazing out there some days

Where can people find Galileo coffee? 

Many places in the corridor including Britannia.  Urban Fair and Stongs in Vancouver, many groceries in Whistler.

What will you be doing 10 years from now?

Living.

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