Made in Michiana: Bendix Coffee

Made in Michiana: Bendix Coffee

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- For this week's Made in Michiana, we're taking you to Bendix Coffee in South Bend.

That's where two women took a chance, and a big leap, and started their own coffee roasting business. Now, they're importing coffee beans from all over the world, and freshly roasting them to perfection on South Bend's West Side.

The aroma that starts so many of our days, starts right here in MIichiana.

“This coffee is fresh. We normally roast it the day of or the day after," Bendix Coffee Co-Founder Karen Haun said.

That aroma is what turned these two longtime friends into business partners.

“We were in a quaint little town in Arizona. And we were like ‘what is that aroma? That’s fantastic... It was kind of like an ‘a-ha moment,’” Bendix Coffee Co-Founder Jill DeLucia said.

So they made the big leap, bought a roaster, and rented out a space in the old Bendix plan on South Bend's West Side.

“Here’s a building, right here in South Bend, and the city supports entrepreneurial things like this. It just seemed to make sense,” DeLucia said.

And Bendix Coffee was born. DeLucia and Haun have been chasing that aroma ever since, even traveling as far as the coffee farms in Colombia to learn the art of roasting.

“We went to a decaffeination plant, and several coffee plantations, or farms, that were owned by women and we’ve since had coffee from those women come to us and we’ve roasted that coffee,” Haun said.

They import 13 different origins of coffee from all over the world. And most of it is from South America.

“This is specialty grade coffee, which by itself, the beans are more uniform in size, and texture and so forth. So that right there makes the coffee a better quality of coffee,” DeLucia said.

Each batch is hand tailored to the customer's unique palette.

“We don’t wing it. We follow the recipe so if you get a really good coffee and it’s just what you really love, we can do that again, and again, and again. So we’ve tried to make sure our processes are so that we can be consistently good,” DeLucia said.

And it keeps them consistently fulfilled. Each time they hand label a new package of robust roast, they remind themselves that following their passion for perfection is certainly worth the grind.

If you have any ideas for our next Made in Michiana feature, shoot us an email at [email protected].

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