Passion for coffee inspired success for Massillon’s Tremont Coffee

— It’s called a honey cortado, this cup of hot, frothy wonderfulness made from two shots of espresso, half and half, and a drop of honey.

Since Tremont Coffee Co. opened in September at 28 Erie St. N, the honey cortado has gained popularity along with other drinks, including cold brews and nitros, that use Tremont’s roasted-on-premises coffee beans. The casually inviting room, with its high ceiling, exposed brick and hipster music mix (Black Keys, Strokes, MGMT) has become a downtown hub.

“We’re not the quiet NPR coffee shop,” said Mark Kemp, who co-owns Tremont with his wife, Michelle. The room comfortably seats about 25 people.

” Massillon has embraced us,” he said. “We have some people in here three and four times a day. We get a young crowd from the high school for frappuccinos and our nitro mocha madness. But we also get people who just want a freshly roasted cup of black coffee. Kenya is our most popular.” There also are sweets — cookies, muffins — from a local baker.

” Massillon has taken us in with open arms, which is something we weren’t sure about. It’s a very supportive community,” Michelle Kemp said. Tremont’s newly added super-food lattes, whose ingredients include turmeric and beets, “have been flying out the door.”

“We still get 10 people a day who come in and say they didn’t know about us,” said Mark Kemp, who works full-time as an operator at the Marathon Refinery.

Tremont roasts 12 different varieties of coffee. “We focus mostly on medium roast, with a few dark roasts,” Mark Kemp said.

Before Tremont was a storefront, the Kemps had a portable Tremont Coffee stand made from a converted 1968 Frolic trailer camper they found on Craigslist. It operated last summer at the Downtown Canton Flea, 720 Market and Canton Gypsy Market. “It was a great way to get the name out there before we could get the store,” Michelle Kemp said.

Because business “far exceeds any expectation we had,” Mark Kemp said, Tremont Coffee is in the process of doubling its space and will move into an adjacent building that formerly housed Vapor Bunny. In the spring, a back patio will open. Live music of various genres is offered most Saturday nights, and there is an open mic night the third Friday of each month.

“We’ve only been here since September, but coffee has been a hobby and a passion for years,” Mark Kemp said. Tremont is collaborating with Sandy Springs Brewing Co. in Minerva on a coffee stout beer made using Tremont’s cold brew coffee.

Hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 9 s.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday. For more information, visit www.tremontcoffee.com.

By Dan Kane

 

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