MARK CORPUS and Mark Capriotti, both 31, of Fishtown, are co-owners of ReAnimator Coffee. Last month, it opened a new production facility, a cafe, offices and a training lab in a refurbished factory in Kensington. ReAnimator also has a cafe in Fishtown. I spoke with Corpus, who's also the roaster.
Q: How'd you come up with the idea for ReAnimator?
A: I was a home-brewer and went to places like Stumptown [Coffee Roasters] in New York and the level of quality was different from what was going on here. Mark and I were friends and he was also roasting at home.
Q: How'd you land here?
A: We started in Mark's basement, then bought a [12-kilo] roaster and moved to a warehouse at 2nd and Cecil B. Moore. We opened our first cafe in August 2013. Prior to that, we were strictly wholesale but wanted a cafe/roastery in one place. Our landlord renovated this space and wanted a roaster and a bakery. We invested $50,000; that's just cafe stuff and doesn't include roasting equipment, which was another $10,000.
Q: What's special?
A: We roast in a slightly lighter way and like a sweeter, brighter coffee, something that has floral notes, good acidity and very clean. We spend a lot of time sourcing interesting beans from small farms in Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador because our style of roasting allows you to taste more natural flavors.
Q: Your customers?
A: We wholesale to specialty grocery stores, cafes and specialty mobile coffee trucks like Cloud Coffee on Temple's campus. The individual retail customer is somebody who's younger, more conscious about their coffee. We have accounts like United by Blue, which has a socially conscious clothing brand and a cafe in-store. We also sell to offices that buy bulk coffee for staff. Wholesale represents 70 to 80 percent of our business right now.
Q: And the name?
A: It's based on a short story by H.P. Lovecraft called Herbert West-Reanimator. I'm a fan of his work. There's also a wacky  movie based on the story.
Q: How's the new facility going to change your business?
A: This space tells potential wholesale customers that we're legitimate and can provide what they need. We can roast on demand. We have a 2,000-square-foot space to bring people in and do classes with them.
Q: What's been the biggest challenge growing the biz?
A: Money and time. You have the cost of just green coffee, but when you buy it you don't immediately sell it and have inventory. The speed with which it sells is not entirely up to you.
Q: How big a biz is this?
A: We have 12 [employees] plus myself and Mark. We're shooting for $500,000 in revenue this year.