Matt and Jill McLaughlin are busy people. Very busy.
He’s a full-time Peru firefighter who co-teaches a fire/emergency medical responder class at La Salle-Peru High School. She teaches at La Salle Dance Center. They have five active children from ages 4 through 13.
They’re also the proprietors of Starved Rock Coffee Company, a young specialty roasting house in Utica. Products are available in local retail outlets, brewed at nearby cafes and shops and sold online.
Last week Matt spoke to me about the “awakening of our senses” through which he and Jill saw how coffee could be enjoyable beyond simply fueling daily life. As they experienced artisan coffee together they learned how coffee has more flavor notes than wine, visited specialty shops, ordered from different roasters nationwide and started making connections with coffee connoisseurs.
McLaughlin cited positive relationships with Tracy Allen, of the Specialty Coffee Association, and…