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33 ⅓ Coffee Roasters owner Eric Galbraith (left) and barista Ethan Anderson (right) stand behind the coffee bar. Photo by Jessie Anton.

 

When Eric Galbraith started roasting coffee beans five years ago in his backyard garage, he had no idea where his love for coffee would take him. Today, with his own handpicked, in-house roasted coffee beans, he has gone from selling his coffee at the Regina Farmer’s Market to opening his own coffee shop in the heart of Heritage Regina. He called it 33 ⅓ Coffee Roasters.

Galbraith came up with the coffee shop’s name years ago when he was planning to open a record store. “It was because of records, because they spin at 33 ⅓ rpm,” said Galbraith. As for the coffee shop, he chose to keep the name because it meant that he wouldn’t be confused with any other business, and it’s all about keeping things fresh. 

Galbraith started the business when he discovered that his friends, Kelsey Beach and Adam Smith, were opening Malty National Brewery and had extra room in their 15th Avenue building.

According to Beach, part owner of the microbrewery, the idea of adding Galbraith into the mix originally began when he and Smith discovered that the building would be quiet during the day and busy in the evening.

“We realized that there would be space and times when it would be dead, so we realized that coffee would be the perfect partnership because the business is the exact opposite of ours,” said Beach.

Eventually, Galbraith united with Tim and Amy Weisgarber, the owners of T+A Vinyl and Fashion, and the third space in the building. The Weisgarbers shared Galbraith’s adoration for vinyl, which delighted him. 

“I’ve always wanted to have a coffee shop that was a record store, so that was kind of my dream and it turned out,” explained Galbraith. “Now, I don’t have to worry as much about the record store, I can focus on the coffee.” 

As for the Weisgarbers, their focus on opening their record and clothing shop was driven by their desire to give back to the community.

After attending an open house for Beach and Smith’s Heritage location brewery—as only neighbours—the Weisgarbers saw opportunity in Beach and Smith’s business endeavours. As residents in the Heritage neighbourhood, the Weisgarbers supported the idea and saw the benefits it had in the community, so they decided to join in.

Recently being successful at pop-up sales at the Cathedral Village Arts Festival (where they also sold vintage records and clothes), the Weisgarbers knew that there was a demand for more home-grown shops in Regina, and they were pleased to join the local business community.

Because the building that they all share is one big, open room, it offers an unusual yet visually pleasing aesthetic for customers from every business to enjoy. “(The building) is becoming more of a community space,” said Tim Weisgarber.

Kathleen Wilson, executive director at Heritage Community Association, believes that the increase of local businesses in the area profits the community.

“Those buildings were abandoned before those businesses moved in. It’s creating more walkable neighbourhoods because it’s going to attract people, and that should actually help with crime and safety,” said Wilson.

“Having things like a coffee shop where they can walk to and see neighbours, I think that it’s going to be really great for the neighbourhood. We want to see more of this kind of development,” she added.

Although the Malty National Brewery isn’t set to open until March, two-thirds of the building’s businesses (33⅓ Coffee Roasters and T+A Vinyl and Fashion) are open for the community to experience.

“Coffee, beer, records and vintage clothes—along with the whole open space concept—it’s different. There isn’t anything like it,” said Tim Weisgarber.