It'll take a little bit of time

Mostra Coffee's rapid expansion keeps its founders' hands full

Mostra Coffee cold brew
  • Mostra Coffee cold brew

Mostra Coffee

12225 World Trade Drive, Suite G, Carmel Mountain

San Diego specialty coffee, coming to a supermarket near you

San Diego specialty coffee, coming to a supermarket near you

Carmel Mountain Ranch roaster Mostra Coffee has continued its unique brand growth with a couple of distribution deals that will widen availability of its coffee throughout Southern California. The first deal will place freshly roasted Mostra beans in the Haggen supermarket chain. The second will place 16-ounce bottles of Mostra cold-brew coffee within shops servicing famed L.A. music venue the Hollywood Bowl. The roaster has also announced plans to open local cafés in the next year.

Thus far, the specialty coffee producer has bucked the usual third-wave business model wherein roasting brands establish themselves with crisply designed retail shops and specially trained baristas. Instead, Mostra placed an early focus on cold-brew product, distributing bottles of concentrated cold coffee to select outlets, as well as on draft to several bars and restaurants. As reported in December, Mostra has also expanded its reach via beer collaborations, including with some of San Diego’s largest and best-known breweries: Stone, Alpine, Karl Strauss, and Green Flash; plus the high-profile AleSmith and Mikkeller collaboration, Beer Geek Speedway, which sold out within minutes of being released.

For Haggen, Mostra has significantly stepped up production to provide beans that will be featured in aisle end-caps throughout grocery stores in San Diego and Orange counties. The Washington state grocery chain acquired 146 supermarket properties released in compliance with federal antitrust laws when Albertsons and Safeway corporations merged late last year, converting more than two dozen Albertson and Vons stores in San Diego county alone.

A Haggen rep says the chain “has chosen to partner with Mostra Coffee because of our commitment to quality products and to supporting the local communities we serve.” Mostra’s already been placed in a handful of Haggen stores in Orange County and will begin appearing in San Diego over the course of the year, beginning with Coronado. Six single-origin coffees are offered in bulk, with four pre-packaged. “This transition is a huge project,” says Jelynn Malone, one of Mostra’s five co-founders, “There are a lot of moving pieces, so it’ll take a little bit of time.”

The Hollywood Bowl deal will provide 16-ounce bottles of ready-to-drink cold brew to stores operated within the venue by Patina Restaurant Group. Varieties include a single-origin Brazil coffee, plus flavored options named Cinna-Mostra Roll and One-Bra-Zillion Coconuts.

While beans, cold brew, and prepared coffees are currently available from Mostra’s roastery, it’s open only limited hours on Wednesdays and Saturdays. However, with the business’s recent momentum, Mostra has finally started planning a couple of full-time retail cafés, with eyes on an inaugural store opening next year in Carlsbad, with a second shop in a yet-to-be-determined North County location. “The majority of Mostra’s partners are originally from the Rancho Bernardo/Carmel Mountain area,” Malone says, “and would love nothing more but to be able to give back to the neighborhood we grew up in….”

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