The Two of Us | Ally Walsh + Casey Wojtalewicz
Today is the very first of a series of international interviews with some very talented creatives and I'm so excited to share it with you! Los Angeles based Ally Walsh and Casey Wojtalewicz are partners in life and work. The effortlessly gorgeous couple have recently joined forces creatively to start their first business together - Canyon Coffee. What started out as an idea in their kitchen has blossomed into a thriving business that they are lovingly growing together.
Hi Ally and Casey - tell me about how you first met? Casey: Hi Hande! We met through our friend, Carla. One day, I was at Carla’s house helping her with a project. The doorbell rang and as Carla went to get the door, she said, “That’s my friend Ally! Casey—you’re going to fall in love with her.” Neither of us were really looking for a relationship at that moment. We just connected on a deep level. Six months later, we were living together.
What first sparked the decision to work together and start the business? Ally: The wheels were turning for awhile before the decision and commitment came. We loved traveling, finding new coffee shops and meeting new people. We wanted to start something that would help us do all of those things more often, together!
What are your roles at Canyon Coffee - who does what? Casey: It’s just the two of us, so there's times when we overlap. Ally bottom-lines social media and our finances. She’s also got the prize palette when it comes to selecting coffee beans. I control logistics, events, copywriting and the business back-end stuff. We both do sales, partnerships, and the books, and we both love branding and marketing. As grow, the roles change.
When that started taking 3 days out of every work week, we started working with local companies to help ease the load. Now we have more time to focus on the coffee and share our passion.
Where do you go for inspiration? Ally: There’s so much inspiration, everywhere! We get it through reading, traveling, and meeting people. We find it in the worlds of coffee, food, wellness, sustainability, and entrepreneurship, to name a few. Part of feeling inspired is having an outlet through which to channel that inspiration. That’s maybe the best part of having Canyon - it’s a way for us to make things happen we might not otherwise have a reason to. Gathering inspiration is important, but so is creating the time to think and reflect.
What does good coffee mean to you? Casey: Everyone has their own way to enjoy coffee. What makes it good to us, on an objective level, is it’s grown ethically and sustainably, and bought at a price that supports the farmers who grow it. On a subjective level, we like a cup that’s smooth, chocolatey and/or caramel-y. Typically medium or light roasts - too dark and it all tastes the same… and you lose the flavour that makes the bean unique. This is exactly the kind of coffee we’re now lucky to create through Canyon.
What's been your best lesson learnt since starting the business? Casey: To pursue the ideas you have that just sound like fun, they’re the best ones.
What are you both loving at the moment? Hygge! The Danish virtue of quality cozy time with friends and loved ones, oat milk, On Being the podcast, Nourished Journal Magazine and Georgia O’Keefe: Living Modern - Brooklyn Museum.
What’s in store for Canyon Coffee in 2017? Casey: We have a lot of fun events coming up to close out the year that we’re excited for! Revitalize in Arizona, Mercado Sagrado and Echo Park Craft Fair in Los Angeles and lots of smaller collaborations. We’re excited to introduce some new beans, as well as equipment we love using to make great coffee at home. We’re excited to keep creating travel content and feature interesting people on our Morning Rituals blog, and finally, we have some really fun projects and collaborations in the works we can’t wait to talk more about—so stay tuned!