Okotoks-based coffee roaster Rebel Bean recently came under new ownership.
The announcement was made on the Rebel Bean Roasters Facebook page on Jan. 29.
Former owner Sara Noyes, who acquired the business in 2021, recalls the business’ humble origins with its founder Kerri Ann Colby.
“Rebel Bean was actually started in 2014, so we’re about nine and a half years old. The start of Rebel Bean really was Kerri Ann roasting when the actual roaster was down at Home Ground Cafe. Kerri Ann started her business there, then basically grew in that space and moved down here in early 2019. So, we’ve been in this shop for about five years.”
Noyes extended thanks to Colby and everyone else who helped her out along the way in her departing post.
The says the new owners, Julia Lee and Shane Rowse, have been working with her since December.
“Julia actually started sort of moonlighting before Christmas, she packed some Advent calendars with us, then saw the Spruce Meadows Christmas Market and worked there with us, did some production in the roastery before Christmas, and then she and her husband Shane have been here virtually all month learning to roast and learning the ropes of the business for most of the month, so they’ve been here shadowing me, and maybe I’ve been shadowing them for parts of it too, we’ve definitely been working together all month.”
Julia and Shane moved to Okotoks in May of 2023 from Arrowwood, having often traveled to Okotoks for groceries.
When the chance to take ownership of the roastery came about, they knew it was a pretty unique opportunity.
“We’ve always loved coffee, we’ve always talked about doing something in that field, whether it was a little deli that served coffee or a coffee shop, when it just kind of started up in conversation that there was a possibility with Rebel Bean and we didn’t want to let that opportunity pass us by, so it sparked the conversation,” says Julia.
She’s glad to have gotten a chance to work alongside Sara for a while before the business was fully handed over.
“It was a lot. Because it’s Christmas, it was very hectic and busy, but it was good for us to be around that so that next December we’re not thinking ‘What’s going on?’”
Noyes won’t be going far, as she’ll be returning to her managerial role at Cactus Club Salon and Spa.
She’s eager to move forward with reassurance, having spent time with the new owners.
“It’s not easy moving on, but it’s easier when you know your business is in good hands. I think I know how Kerri Ann felt when she passed it to me, she was confident in my ability and what I was going to do moving forward, as I am confident in Julia and Shane moving forward as well. When the business is in good hands and you feel like you’ve served it well and added a piece of yourself to it, when I leave, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished and I’m excited moving forward.”