Why the name "Other Brother" Roasters?

November 03, 2014

Before the specialty coffee scene got going in Manitoba the coffee options were primarily Robin's Donuts, then Tim Hortons and much later Starbucks.  It was at this time that Jonny's Java - Manitoba's first specialty coffee shop opened its doors in a small mall not in Winnipeg, but rather in the small southern Manitoba city of Winkler.

Jon Plett, who was one of the founding members of Jonny's Java and after who the company is named, started exposing Sam to what a good cup of coffee could taste like.  How the subtlety of roasting nuances can play out in the cup and how different countries (origins) can have different tastes.  The timing of Jon founding the coffee shop coincided with the time where Sam was studying engineering.  The engineer in Sam wanted to try roasting for himself, he wanted to conduct experiments on roasting time, roasting degree and different coffees from different parts of the world.

Over time the requests to roast coffee for family and friends led to the idea of starting a coffee roasting company.  At the time we were searching for a name and it was while at a great Manitoban tradition, the summer night backyard fire, that a conversation something like this took place:

Cousin visiting from British Columbia: "So Jon owns Jonny's Java?"

Manitoban: "Yup"

Cousin visiting from British Columbia: "Ok, so if Jon owns the coffee shop then is it Jon's brother Tim that is the one starting the coffee roasting company?"

Manitoban: "Nope, it's Jon's other brother"

Cousin visiting from British Columbia: "Who is Jon's other brother? Oh, it's Ben right?"

Manitoban: "Nope, it's Jon's other brother"

Cousin visiting from British Columbia: "Oh.  I get it.  I think you guys should call your company Other Brother Roasters"

And that's the story on how Other Brother got it's name.  We think it's pretty neat that the name has a strong hint of family, friends, the history of specialty coffee in Manitoba and the history of roasting.