The story of Narrative Coffee Roasters began with a makeshift bean roaster on a stovetop. Its next chapter is a storefront in one of the top retail destinations in Naples. The grand opening of Narrative in June—in the former Second Cup space in Mercato—was the culmination of years of work getting established in Southwest Florida.“It’s been a long, fun road,” says CEO and founder Caleb MacPherson. About a decade ago, he purchased a Whirley Pop Popcorn Maker, which can also double as a bean roaster, and took a passion for quality co ee to the next level. By 2016, he and his wife decided that the hobby could become a business. They invested in a $350,000 roaster and Narrative was born. Unlike other co ee businesses that start with a shop and then branch out into selling wholesale, they took the opposite approach. They bagged their own beans and began distributing, at first giving samples away for free to any interested retailer. “We lost money at first, but we found what stuck,” MacPherson says.
One aspect of coffee that’s always interested MacPherson is how it brings people together. “That’s what we want at Narrative (in Mercato),” he says. “A place for people to come tell their stories.”