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MUSKOKA - Whitney Carter's cozy Muskoka roasting workshop smells of wood, coffee, with hints of herbs and spices in a combination which is arguably one of the sweetest aromas known to any coffee addict.
The born and raised Bracebridge resident is the owner of Moon Coffee Company. Her Muskoka roots have Whitney firmly connected to nature, she wanted her company to represent that energetic vibration.
"I was doing crisis work in women's shelters and I needed a little bit of a change. I wanted to connect to my roots and spirituality more. Because of my background I went with the name Moon Coffee Company," she said.
Prior to starting her company Whitney travelled West.
"I sold everything, hopped on a plane, had a dart on a map and went to Red Deer, Alberta ... it was a big switch for me ... I happened upon this job at the women's shelter and met the most amazing powerhouse women and it helped me evolve as a person," she said.
This past April family pulled Whitney back to Muskoka as did dreams of a new business.
"I drove home, and I was driving in Saskatchewan and it just came to me ... I love coffee and tea and I took an herbalist course, so I thought I would start roasting coffee and do the market rounds to start," she said.
In just a few months Whitney has secured local wholesale accounts and Moon Coffee has expanded to 12 different types of roasts. The company has a local source for raw coffee beans which are all organic and fair trade. Her beans are purchased from small farmers who don't use pesticides and chemicals.
Whitney walked us through the difference in these magical beans while in their greenish - non coffee looking- form. She handles her product with the delicacy you'd expect from someone who is as passionated about java as Whitney is. She describes her roast profile as a fine art.
Whitney likes her coffee strong and admits that her lightest brew is what most people would classify as a dark. Among the many coffee blends she creates she has recently added a mushroom blend, she also uses fresh spices as well as coconut oil to flavour her beans.
"My next step is to have a coffee bar," she said.
Whitney would like her cafe to have coffee tastings, evening classes, she would also like to coordinate her roasting with the cycle of the moon calendar. She envisions creating and opening a coffee bar which would stay open till 11 p.m.
"In Muskoka, especially when the winter hits, there is nothing to do and there is no connection leading to isolation ... this would be a connection to just go out and stay local."
Her menu would include treats like Spirulina latte's and frappuccino's to "drink your nutrients."
"I like coffee because it's simple, we all enjoy it and I think about 85 to 90 percent of the population drinks coffee. We are so go, go, go now a days that we don't take a step back to enjoy it so that's why I wanted to do all these different blends, to stop and enjoy."
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