Revelator Coffee Co.

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Revelator Coffee Co. is a Birmingham-based chain of coffee shops with locations across the South.

The company was founded in 2014 by Josh Owen in New Orleans with financial backing from Roble Partners of Berkely, California. Owen hopes to exploit the relative scarcity of specialty coffee outlets in the South and to "Americanize" the experience of coffee drinking, which he believes relies too heavily on European cultural cues. To that end, the company uses American-made equipment, such as Utah's Alpha Dominche and Washington's Slayer.

In the beginning, Revelator sourced green coffee from Zephyr Green Coffee of New Orleans and Cafe Imports of Minneapolis, Minnesota and contract-roasted them in New Orleans. Emma Chevalier was brought on to develop the brand offerings and train baristas. Her focus has been on representing coffee as an agricultural product, similar to fine wine, prepared in small batches respecting seasonal offerings.

The chain's first retail location opened in October 2014 on the ground floor of the Whitmire Lofts at 1826 3rd Avenue North. Another location opened on Tchoupitoulas Street in New Orleans in February 2015, followed by locations in Chattanooga and Nashville, Tennessee and Atlanta, Georgia.

Fischer Architecture of Berkley, California provided conceptual designs for the retail locations. The design of the Birmingham store was realized with the assistance of Appleseed Workshop. In part because of its central location for distribution around the south, the company decided in early 2015 to move its roasting facilities and headquarters office to Birmingham. Appleseed designed the renovations to an existing 1970s warehouse at 730 1st Avenue North.

In 2017 Revelator acquired Atlanta's Octane coffee shop chain (which had earlier merged with Birmingham's Primavera coffee roaster under the Fresh Hospitality banner. Octane's coffee shops, including two in Birmingham (in Homewood on Central Avenue and Uptown at the BJCC), were rebranded as Revelator Coffee Co. In addition, Revelator has acquired Wired Puppy Specialty Coffee & Tea of Massachussetts.


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