It doesn’t get much better than fresh locally roasted coffee! Ben and Alexa Boyt of Batteaux Coffee Company prioritize providing their community with coffee that is freshly roasted and ethically sourced. Their small batch coffees are typically packaged within hours of roasting and all their products are sold within two weeks of the roast date. You can taste the difference and you can feel good about supporting this Powhatan family of six.
Alexa, who spent most of her childhood in Central Mexico, comes from a family of missionaries. Ben spent years in rural Nepal teaching English and working on infrastructure projects to better the community. Their shared passion for providing aid to those in need contributed to their connection and their relationship eventually grew into marriage.
After their first son was born, they moved to the coast of Mexico and started a successful café and coffee roasting company. In the summer of 2016, they temporarily left their thriving business in the capable hands of friends and set out for Richmond, Virginia to help other close friends start a similar venture. In the end, Ben and Alexa decided to go ahead and sell the business in Mexico to their friends who had proven their success and had ambitious plans to expand. They committed to giving Virginia a chance and settled into Powhatan as home.
Ben focused his career efforts on roasting, packaging and shipping for a large local company. Next, he worked for a tech company, installing specialty coffee equipment. Both jobs entailed him working in solitude while the latter additionally required a lot of time on the road. He found he intensely missed the customer interaction he had back in Mexico. Meanwhile, Alexa stayed busy home schooling their children, which was challenging with Ben’s work demands and travel. While she enjoyed the rewards of educating and caring for their children, she found additional joy in growing cheerful, colorful flowers and versatile herbs in their small growing space.
Last year, Alexa and Ben decided to return to their true passion and expertise: roasting coffee for their community. They formed a partnership with Alma Coffee of Atlanta, Georgia, which provides ethically sourced beans through family ties in South America. The name Batteaux was inspired by the river boats that transported goods from farmers and producers along the James River. They focused on providing a full array of freshly roasted coffee products including light, medium, dark, and espresso roasts, as well as a Swiss water process decaf and cold brew concentrate.
Alexa decided she would sell their coffee at the RVAg Powhatan Farmers Market. She described the warm embrace and support of local customers by stating, “We made connections. The market gave us a special sense of community.” Due to work demands, Ben planned to help at just the first market. Alexa remarked upon his change of plans: “He never missed one after that. Ben loves the interaction and getting to watch folks enjoy his craft.” They not only brought their fresh small batch coffee, but Alexa sold her herbs, beautiful bouquets and fun daisy chain style flower creations.
Recently they partnered with Three Crosses Distilling Company of Powhatan. Not only do they sell their freshly roasted coffee, but they use it in their specialty cocktails and their limited release coffee whiskey. They are exploring other local partnerships for their coffee and flowers. Alexa summed it up by stating, “We like to keep it local and small, to know our people.” Their coffee can be purchased year-round through the RVAg online Marketplace. They will be back in action at the Powhatan Farmers Market in May with their market bouquets and coffee products, including cups of hot fresh coffee and iced cold brew! They are even pursuing purchasing an espresso cart to provide all those lovely specialty drinks.
Despite their busy schedules, Alexa and Ben continue to make time to give to those in need and maintain a special interest in social justice causes. They have worked in local food pantries and with local food distribution organizations to serve house bound seniors. When possible, Ben works with an international aid agency to address emergency response situations. Most recently, this work enabled him to teach English to displaced Afghan families arriving here in Virginia who have tremendous needs to meet. This demanding job requires flexibility in his schedule as he could be called upon to do emergency relief work anywhere within the country and even internationally.
It’s wonderful to find a local source of fresh roasted coffee. It’s even better if it is provided by a hard-working family who is committed to giving to a broad community in such a meaningful way. Check out Batteaux Coffee Company to experience its freshness and feel good about supporting the Boyt family of Powhatan!