Desi and I often find ourselves in really great little places created by awesome people and feel the immediate urge to share them with the world! So, when we strolled into Ironsmith Coffee Roasters we knew immediately that we wanted to feature them on NomNom(OM).
Owned by San Diego county natives Matt Delarosa and Raul Macias, Ironsmith features a fantastic atmosphere with a small handcrafted interior, premium location, amazing service, and most importantly; deliciously roasted coffees!
Recently, on an appropriately rainy day, I stopped in for a latte and sat down with Raul for some Q & A. Despite a steady flow of customers and what I only imagine was the beginnings of a fresh roast by Delarosa, Raul graciously sat down with me and offered some insight on the concept and genesis of Ironsmith.
Having never conducted an interview to generate content for a written project, I was unsure how to follow my pre-written questions without leading the interview into a regimented conversation. Naturally, however, we started off with a short introduction, and quickly rolled into a fantastic conversation that easily flowed like their ‘Coffee on tap’.
Matt and Raul hand-built Ironsmith top to bottom. And as a patron, one can immediately appreciate the care and craftsmanship that went into creating an atmosphere that is uniquely Ironsmith. When asked about the decision to build in Encinitas, Raul casually stated that they wanted to “keep it coastal” and being as it was relatively close to both of them it was a natural choice. It’s a rad location too: right along Highway 101 at the top of Encinitas.
I wanted to know more about the genesis of the Ironsmith moniker and asked Raul to elaborate:
“We built everything you see here by hand. Even this,” he said, gently rapping on the steel coffee bar. “…and it even translates to the way we make coffee” he continued on. It makes a lot of sense too: the personal touch of Raul and Matt’s craftsmanship can be realized with all of your senses while hanging out at Ironsmith.
I asked Raul what advice he had for the ‘franchise’ coffee devotee who had never tried truly fresh roasted coffees. His answer: “…they wouldn’t know unless they have tried it.” Simple, to the point, and I have to concur; Ironsmith features a number of different flavors of coffee bean, but what makes them a stand-out is that they take care to maintain the flavors of the unroasted berry. The American coffee drinker is often berated by an over-roasted, bitter-bean flavor in which the natural fruitiness has been cooked out. Raul for instance, favors Ethiopian coffee beans for their wild array of natural hints of blueberry and other amazing flavors.
Our conversation carried on with a natural cadence from which I gradually abandoned my previously drawn questions and ended up finding that I had a lot more in common with Raul than merely a love of coffee. As a climber, and adventurer, Matt and Raul are always scanning for the next step and hope to expand. Also, they are planning on becoming involved with the local community by way of local and charitable events.
Our conversation covered an expanse of topics including fitness, gait bio-mechanics of man, our ancestral traits, rock climbing and of course, coffee. Meeting with Raul stirred my own dreams of entrepreneurial success.
As he stepped away to tend to a steadily growing line of customers, I sat and took in the great aromas, the hum of conversation, and the feel of a job well done all created by a pair of friends with an idea and passion.
Visit their website here then take a trip to visit them in Encinitas at 458 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024