Patrick Whalen and his wife, Kristi, and moved to Fort Scott in 2017. Patrick Whalen helped found and serves as the headmaster for St. Martin’s Academy, a new boy’s Catholic boarding school.
An interest in good tasting coffee turned into a coffee roasting business for the couple, called Ad Astra Roasters.
“As far as I can tell we are the only roasters in Fort Scott,” Whalen said. “We just obtained our license from the state and are excited to be doing business with a couple local coffee shops, Common Ground in Fort Scott and Root in Pittsburg.”
“I had served on active duty as a Marine for about a decade and both my wife Kristi, and I had done a lot of traveling where we developed a taste for geographically specific coffees and an interest in coffee cultures from around the world,” Whalen said.
“As a result of how hard it is to find excellent coffee, I have been roasting coffee for my own family for several years,” Whalen said.
“When we moved to Fort Scott and decided to settle down, we thought we’d share our beans with friends and colleagues etc.,” he said. ” We received great feedback and in 2018 thought we’d try to sell a little bit on the side.”
“We worked with some close friends to build bigger roasters and with the support of the Boiler Room Brewhaus (another local business) and the Common Ground Coffee Shop, were soon selling directly to folks in the community.”
Currently, Ad Astra Roasters is based out of the Whalen home on Main Street in Fort Scott.
“We have turned a section of our basement into the roastery and have our food processing and wholesale license,” he said.
Their beans are from a variety of different bean importing companies around the country who have a reputation for ethical sourcing and business practices, he said.
“Many of our offerings are organic and fair trade certified, and frequently we can tell you the name of the specific farm or cooperative from which the beans come,” Whalen said. “Most of the coffee we roast is what’s called a single origin, meaning that it is not a blend from all over the world, but represents the specific geography and climate of where it was farmed.”
The Whalens currently sell bags of coffee at Common Ground, The Boiler Room Brewhaus, and at Root Coffeehouse in Pittsburg or online through their website www.adastraroasters.com.
“Both Root and Common Ground serve our coffee by the cup, and we’re always happy to provide data on the coffee and brewing tips to make it the best possible cup of joe,” he said.
The Whalen’s can be contacted at 949-331-5506 or at email@example.com.