For Roasters & Retailers

Schedule Conflicts Put Trail Coffee Roasters in Transition

Trail Coffee Roasters is closing its popular alleyway coffeehouse Friday as Ten Space readies to transform the space for the new tenant, Reality Church of Stockton.

The move out of the approximately 1,300 square foot warehouse off of Miner Avenue, which Trail Coffee has occupied for the past seven years, was both a bit unexpected and anticipated, said Gianna Vicari, who manages and runs the shop.

Trail Coffee Roasters is in the process of building a storefront at 501 E. Main St. and had plans to move its operations when the work was completed, however, Ten Space gave Trail a notice to leave by Oct. 21, Vicari said.

“In a perfect world we would have been able to stay here until our new space is up and running,” she said. “The landlord (Ten Space) has other plans for the building. We asked until the end of November, asked for anything longer than this, but they said no.”

Trail Coffee recently received a permit from the city to continue work at the Main Street site but an opening date is not anticipated until early 2018.

According to Ten Space, the decision should not have come as a surprise because plans have been in the works for that space to be used by Reality Church of Stockton. The church will be taking up the first floor of the building at 235 N. San Joaquin St.

“We’ve worked with the leadership at Reality Stockton for over a year to bring them downtown,” Ten Space CEO Zac Cort said in a written statement. “Throughout this process, we have coordinated with Bing Kirk — the owner of Trail Coffee — to keep them both in the space for as long as possible as Trail works on the build out of their new Main Street location.

“… we’ve done our best to accommodate Bing’s schedule to ensure that their operations would not be disrupted. In the end, we are seeing some overlap with our construction schedule for the Reality Stockton improvements and Trail’s renovations at their new location. We’ve communicated with Bing throughout the process on all of our plans and timelines, and while it’s unfortunate the new Trail space was not quite ready, we did let them know in July that we had to move forward with our improvements in October to meet Reality’s timelines.”

Cort, in his statement, was adamant that Trail Coffee was not evicted from its location but rather given a courtesy notice. He said he wished Trail Coffee “nothing but the best, and we’re sure they’ll continue to be a staple in our downtown.”

Vicari said she hopes Ten Space will indeed start work in the building this month and that it’s not just going to sit there when Trail Coffee could have continued to operate.

Kirk, who referred questions to Vicari, briefly said it’s unfortunate that Trail has to close but “it is what it is” and added that they’re excited about what’s to come.

Trail Coffee Roasters, formerly known as Jesus Mountain Coffee Co., was started after Kirk and friends, Mike Atherton and Dave Lintner, decided to invest in a coffee farm in Nicaragua. The trio grew and produced coffee at the farm, which eventually was brought back to San Joaquin County. Bing’s hobby of roasting coffee grew over the years and became what is now known as Trail Coffee.

Vicari, who returned to Stockton from New York three years ago to open the coffee shop, said Trail Coffee Roasters will close to the public Friday and will spend the last week packing up the shop. She said a friend in Manteca is letting them roast on Mondays and Tuesdays and they’ve found a place to package the coffee in Stockton, which will allow the company to meet its wholesale orders. People also can sign up for a newsletter to receive updates on the Main Street shop and where people can get their caffeine fix.

This is an unfortunate situation but Trail Coffee Roasters is opening in a new place so Vicari is trying to highlight the positive, while also thinking of creative ways to have customers supporting them through this transition, she said Tuesday.

“It’s a bittersweet time,” Vicari said. “Great things can happen in this odd time.”

A “Fond Farewell to Trail” event will be at 8 a.m. Friday at 224 E. Miner Ave. For details about the event, visit facebook.com/events/552319051779712.

To sign up for Trail Coffee Roaster’s newsletter, email [email protected]. For more information, visit trailcoffeeroasters.com, Trail Coffee Roasters on Facebook or TrailCoffeeCo on Instagram.

Contact reporter Almendra Carpizo at (209) 546-8264 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @AlmendraCarpizo.

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