Blackeye Roasting Company is continuing its rapid expansion this fall – launching two new canned cold brew products and widening its distribution to include the East Coast.
Now, armed with a 29,000-square-foot facility, the Twin Cities enterprise is aiming to compete with the top boutique cold brew coffee operations nationwide: Stumptown Coffee (based in Portland, Ore.) and La Colombe (based in Philadelphia).
“I always had this vision and this drive, but I didn’t know what to expect,” said Matt McGinn, who founded Blackeye in 2015. “We grew out of a basement. We made a lot of mistakes, we learned through trial and error. No one knew a damn thing about cold brew – we didn’t either, but we figured it out.”
Now, in addition to the canned nitro cold brew product that helped feed its ascent (and with the nitro coffee on tap in local coffee shops), Blackeye has released two new flavors: nitro cocoa and white chocolate.
Like the original nitro cold brew, the new renditions will pack 260 milligrams of caffeine – more than double what a can of Red Bull contains (116 mg). Blackeye recently redesigned its labeling as well.
Both new flavors, which will be in Holiday gas stations and Hy-Vee grocery stores by next week, are made with dairy-free coconut creamer and are moderately sweet.
The new facility, which Blackeye began producing out of in August after a yearlong build, allows the company to generate 90,000 cases of cold brew a month. And there is the capacity to eventually triple that number, McGinn said.
After the push to enter the new phase of convenience stores, including Super America and Lunds & Byerly's is complete, McGinn said the next step is filtering into independent and mom-and-pop-style businesses. Blackeye also has pending approval to sell on Amazon.
Blackeye is nearing the point of becoming a national brand. In the coming months, the company will increase its distribution from the five-state region of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota to include other Midwest states such as Nebraska and Missouri, as well as all of New England and parts of the southeast United States.