A good cup of coffee starts with a good roast.
At least that’s what the East Valley’s favorite barista, Brian Bergeson, said.
“You roast slow and you roast steady — but not too slow,” said Bergeson, who owns Bergies Coffee Roast House with his brother, Bruce Bergeson, and his wife, Linda Bergeson.
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But beyond creating a great coffee blend, the three have also tried to create a great atmosphere — a place where people want to hangout.
“It’s a cozy, bohemian coffee shop, not a sterile one,” said Bergeson, named by readers as the “Best Coffeehouse Barista” when “2013 Best of East Valley” ballots were tallied. “Some are sterile, some are edgy and some are cozy. We’re cozy.”
It’s become a spot for regular meetings — youth groups, book clubs, bible studies and more — with plenty of outdoor, shaded seating amongst the overflowing flowerbeds.
“The best part is getting to know the people,” he said about working at the shop. “You get to know some customers’ drink, but some people you get to know quite personally.”
Bergeson said there’s something special about working in the early morning.
“It’s great to know that they got their coffee and are off to start their day,” he said. “I see some people every single day.”
The location doesn’t boast a drive-thru, but with the town’s help a few years ago there is ample parking to make it a little more convienent, he said.
“You’ll go a little way out of your way to get certain things,” Bergeson said. “Getting a really good cup of coffee, for some people, is one of those things.”
It’s not open until midnight, but it does offer free wi-fi for customers and weekend live music, he said.
“We’ve found our little niche,” he said, and that compliments the rest of the historic district of downtown Gilbert.
And while there have been some questions from customers to put another location farther out east, Bergeson doesn’t believe that’s going to happen anytime soon.
Instead, they’re currently focusing on getting a larger, additional space to place a three-time larger roaster, Bergeson said.
“Trying as hard as I can (to find a spot) in Gilbert,” he said. “I have to find a location that meets the criteria of zoning.”
It’s roasting coffee that led the brothers to open the location nearly four years ago, first experimenting by making specialty blends in a hot-air popcorn popper, eventually moving to a small roaster before buying the small commercial Diedrich roaster when they opened their business. Local resturants that serve their coffee also have their own, special Bergies blends that can be bought at the shop.
However, if they were to open another retail location, Bergeson thinks it would be in another historic location.
Bergies is located in the small 1919 home that once sat behind the Claire family’s sheet metal shop — the original concrete floor of which is now the store’s patio.
“The wooden floors are like a rollercoaster,” he said, arching his hand up and down to demonstrate the buckling of the hardwood floors.
But that charm is what makes the place feel so cozy, he said.
Location: 309 N. Gilbert Road, Gilbert
Information: (480) 497-3913 or bergiescoffee.com
Honorable Mention: Sam Clark, LoFi Coffee (Mesa); Maverick Broderick, Dutch Bros. (Mesa); Troy, Coffee Cove (Gilbert); Zach, Coffee Rush (Gilbert); Denise O’Connor, Starbucks (Cooper and Warner, Gilbert); Emily, Starbucks (Elliott and Alma School, Chandler)
Contact writer: (480) 898-5645 or firstname.lastname@example.org