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Kolika Gourmet Coffee Roasters

Purveyor of Fine Roasted Coffees in the Reno / Tahoe Area

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Coffee beans at Kolika Gourmet Coffee Roasters in Reno, Nevada

Coffee beans at Kolika Gourmet Coffee Roasters in Reno, Nevada.

Photo © Stan White
You've probably enjoyed a cup of coffee from Kolika Gourmet Coffee Roasters and didn't even know it. The company supplies numerous restaurants and coffee emporiums in the Reno / Sparks area, including Rapscallion Seafood House & Bar, Bibo Coffee, and Tuff Beanz in the Legends at Sparks Marina. Up around Lake Tahoe and Truckee, virtually all of the ski resorts and golf courses brew up Kolika coffees.

Origins of Kolika Gourmet Coffee Roasters

Kolika is the result of a partnership between Grant Dillon and Dave Kellenberger. Dillon is the marketing and business development man and wanted to create a start-to-finish manufacturing enterprise, not just resell a product produced by someone else. Kellenberger is the coffee man, having learned his craft from master roaster Fred at Coffee Connexion in Tahoe City. Their goal is to become the premier coffee roaster in the Reno / Tahoe area and work toward a regional and national level by delivering superior product and service. "We want to be recognized and known as the best coffee out there," said Dillon.

Coffee Roasting in Reno

Kolika has a roasting and distribution facility in west Reno. Beans delivered to that location are turned over to roaster Jeremiah Frazer, who learned the art from Kellenberger. That makes him the third in a line of coffee roasting artists originating in the Lake Tahoe area. Frazer is passionate about his trade, having been a barista for 12 years and traveled the country collecting a catalog of good coffees. His favorite beans are Ethiopian, the source of all coffee. Frazer said, "The closer you get to the source, the better it is." To actually make a cup, he prefers the French press method because it gives the user lots of control over the finished product.

A Good Cup of Coffee Starts With the Beans

Dillon takes care of procuring the beans that become Kolika coffee. He deals with a major coffee broker, but is constantly planning and making decisions on what to buy in order to ensure getting the highest quality beans at all times. He said he specifically tries to get certain beans, researching and developing relationships with the farms where they grow. The result is a selection of beans that are both organic and grown in a conventional manner.

Donation Grounds

Donation Grounds is a fund raising program offered by Kolika. According to Dillon, the program is a way for schools, churches, soccer teams, and others to raise funds by offering a high quality, locally produced product with wide appeal. His goal is to create a turn-key solution and eventually scale it up to a national level. Dillion said he is structuring Donation Grounds to be attractive for fund raisers by giving them the opportunity to earn up to 50% of the gross margin. "It's our way to be socially responsible," he said. To learn more about this program, call Kolika at (877) 4-Kolika (456-5452).

Kolika Testimonial

Mick Daly, owner of Tuff Beanz, had this to say about his relationship with Kolika Coffee - "Tuff Beanz was started 2007 in Truckee, CA. I knew just the basics of the coffee business. I relied on Dave Kellenberger to walk me through the process of opening a coffee shop and educating me about coffee. He and his team have been my most valued resource and sounding board in running my business. Kolika Coffee is roasting an incredible line of coffees. These "eye openers" have been a hit here in Truckee and again at our second location in Sparks, NV. I cannot give high enough praise to Kolika for their support and service."

Enjoy Kolika Coffee in Your Hotel Room

Kolika's Reno facility is equipped with a special machine that produces those little packages of coffee found in hotel rooms. Dillon said Kolika is adding this "fractional packaging" market to its business development efforts by offering local production and the best price.

Coffee is Good For You

Forget about the bad press coffee sometimes gets. According to Frazer, coffee is actually good for you. Just steer clear of the cheap stuff, which has compounds that tend to irritate the stomach. Here are some things about high-quality coffee you probably didn't know, courtesy of Frazer...
  • Coffee has anti-cavity properties to protect teeth.
  • Some coffee compounds are good for the colon.
  • Magnesium in coffee helps absorption of sugar in diabetics.
  • Coffee is the #1 source of antioxidants for North Americans.

To learn more about Kolika Gourmet Coffee Roasters, call (877) 4-Kolika (456-5452). And that name? According to Dillon, Kolika is the Hawaiian word for Doris, his mother's first name.

Disclosure: I received a couple of bags of Kolika beans, compliments of owner Grant Dillon.

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