Royston Roasting Company offers great coffee, good food and good cheer

Coffee roaster at Royston Roasting Company

The coffee roaster, imported from Turkey, is a work of art as much as it is a functional piece of equipment

It’s not very big, and it certainly ain’t fancy. The feature that drew us there in the first place is housed in the basement, and the place itself is set back off the road so you have to look for it. But the Royston Roasting Company, located in ‘downtown’ Royston, which is little more than a hole in the wall off the Old Island Highway, is certainly worth the trip from wherever you might be on the Island.

Smoke meat sandwich

Amazing smoked meat from Dunn’s in Montreal makes for one of the best sandwiches on the Island

Ever on the lookout for a good cup of coffee, we headed to the tiny community of Royston to check out Gary and Dyan Spink’s tiny coffee house (seating for 13 inside and a pretty outdoor deck) and were delighted with what we found – and tasted!

The Spinks have been roasting coffee since 1998, when they started out at the Comox Valley Farmers Market.  They moved to Royston, just south of Courtenay on Highway 19A, about five years ago and moved the coffee roasting business two years ago into what used to be a post office.  The beautiful roaster, imported from Turkey, is in the basement of the building and upstairs there is a coffee shop serving the full gamut of coffee-based beverages, various teas and light lunches and breakfasts. Much to the delight of the area residents the place has become something of a local hangout, where folks have been known to show up for breakfast still decked out in their pyjamas. And that is one of the things that makes this little spot so appealing. There is no pretence – just a warm welcome, great coffee and good food.

Quiche and soup

Spinach and cheddar cheese quiche and Thai coconut soup

The Spinks source all of their organic coffees with an eye to fair trade, ensuring that the farmers who grow those beans get reasonable payment for their labours. They offer only four blends (which I like – the myriad of choices in some of the better known coffee joints has become mind-boggling), including a decaffeinated option. Much of the food on offer, which includes crepes, quiche, soup and a variety of breakfast options, is either locally-sourced or made right on-site. We enjoyed a flavourful Thai coconut soup and locally-made spinach-cheddar quiche and the best Montreal smoked meat sandwich, lightly toasted, that I have ever sunk my teeth in to. Dyan grew up in Montreal and it’s very clear that she knows where to source great stuff when it comes to food.

Interior view, Royston Roasting Company

The interior of the Royston Roasting Company and Coffee House is clean, simple, comfortable and colourful

If you ask, you will probably also be treated to a tour of the roasting room downstairs. It’s worth taking that extra few minutes just for the heavenly blast of coffee aroma that greets you when the basement door is opened. The roaster is a work of art in itself and is certainly worth seeing.

The Royston Roasting Company also serves as something of a convenient mini-tourist bureau, with a small room devoted to display of materials from local businesses.  So, a great spot to stop off for a coffee or latte or a light meal when you are visiting the area, grab some brochures and plan your visit. Guaranteed you will receive a cheerful welcome when you arrive and that you will leave in a happy frame of mind.

A small room off to the side acts as a mini-tourist bureau, with all sorts of great information about the Island and the Comox Valley

A small room off to the side acts as a mini-tourist bureau, with all sorts of great information about the Island and the Comox Valley

The Royston Roasting Company is located at 3904 Island Highway South, Royston. You can learn more about the company and its’ various custom labelling and roasting offerings at the website:

www.bccoffee.ca

            GPS co-ordinates are:

Lat. 49.646023953183246  Long. -124.9456000328064

N 49 38.761  W 124 56.736

Royston Roasting Coffee House on Urbanspoon

Shirley

About Shirley

More years ago than I like to remember, I completed the Journalism program at Vancouver Community College and launched straight into a career as a newspaper reporter (thanks to my journalism professor Nick Russell and an opening at the venerable daily Alberni Valley Times.) My work as a news reporter/feature writer/columnist and ultimately, newspaper and magazine editor, took me to many interesting places and introduced me to hundreds of interesting characters over the years. I loved every minute of it, but burnout caught up with me while I was trying to juggle the simultaneous editing of five trade magazines, and for 27 years I abandoned my keyboard (on a professional basis, at least) and followed my heart in a variety of other careers. In 2010 I returned to the journalistic fold, thanks to the encouragement (nay – nagging!) of my husband. I feel no regret – only great joy to be back at the keyboard, and to be spending time interviewing interesting folks and discovering great places.
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