Red Light Roastery is More than Just Cool Beans
By Jami Smith
Photography by Jami Smith
The morning ritual-grinding beans for a French Press, waking up to the aroma from the self-brew setting on your coffee pot, throwing in a K-cup before running out the door or even stumbling into work, avoiding all human contact until that first sip of delicious liquid motivation hits your lips. Coffee is a universal language: Cup of Joe, Brain Juice, Liquid Energy, Brew. No matter how you brew it, Red Light Roastery wants to help you get your fix and find the roast for you.
Adam Moore, a Hot Springs native, is the force behind Red Light Roastery. Having left the Natural State in 1993, Adam and his family moved around before returning to Hot Springs in 2002, bringing back with him cultural knowledge and experience to turn a historic house in the Uptown Park Ave area into a small batch coffee roastery.
It begins with a tragic story – a man coming to the devastating realization that he has developed an allergy to beer (he deserves a moment of silence). Having 13 years of brewing beer under his belt, Adam sought a new hobby he could apply his existing brewing knowledge and ultimately grow into a business, transitioning out of a 12 year career as a nurse at DaVita Dialysis. In July 2015, he began the move from beer to coffee.
“The nerdiness level is kind of the same. I get to weigh things out, turn valves and do temperatures,” Adam says with a gleam in his eye. There is definitely a science involved in the process. Almost all coffee beans are imported from outside of the States: Colombia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Ecuador, Brazil… the list goes on. So many factors determine the overall outcome and taste of the coffee bean, even after it has left the farmer’s hands. Adam describes his roasting style as somewhere in the middle, not too sweet or too bitter. His roasting style is just right. Everyone has his or her own particular style whether it’s adding more creamer than actual coffee or drinking it straight black, Adam wants to guide you to try new things and believes that you won’t be disappointed.
The Moore family has spent a great deal of time and effort to restore and bring new life back to the historic home on Park Ave. Not only have they succeeded in providing a first of its kind, small batch coffee roastery in Hot Springs, Adam and his family have given the community a meeting place to connect, relax and share stories. In addition, patrons can purchase crafts made by local artisans, such as Larkmartian Soap crafted by Adam’s wife, Briana Moore, and leatherworks by Beastman Caravan. Red Light even hosts yoga sessions with instructors from The Yoga Place of Hot Springs. From time to time, musicians are invited to host a small jam session on the front porch while patrons listen and sip coffee or tea or dance barefoot in the grass on the front lawn. Providing a way to give back to the community is something Red Light Roastery is all about.
To the Moore’s, it’s a proven fact—put money back into the community and help fuel the economy. For the past few months, the tips gathered from Red Light have been donated to local non-profit organizations. For the month of August, $400 was raised for Stop Animal Cruelty in Garland and Hot Springs Counties.
“Every month it’s getting be more, and every time we put stuff out about what we’re doing people are more willing to give tips.”
Red Light dedicated the month of September to CASA: Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children in Garland County, and an anonymous donor offered to match up to $500 of the money raised. “This could really turn into something more special than I initially thought it would be,” says Adam.
Already roasting over 200 pounds of coffee every week for the city of Hot Springs, Adam is determined to keep the fire going and is setting future sights on larger cities, such as Dallas, Memphis and Little Rock. For now, Hot Springs has this one of a kind gem to call its own.