Kith+Kin Roasting Co. is a locally owned coffee roastery, sandwich shop, and bakery all in one location.
Coffee enthusiast and owner Rob Morrisey opened the coffee shop in downtown Artesia back in 2005. Over the years, this establishment has developed into a defining feature of Artesia and a vibrant gathering place for visitors and locals. We had the opportunity to chat with Rob about his 15-year business owner’s experience and his passion for coffee and community.
How has the coffee house evolved over the years?
Rob: We opened our doors in 2005 as “The Jahva House” and have recently rebranded with a new look and operations. We want the new Kith + Kin to be the same Jahva House everyone has always known and loved, just updated and now with the only coffee roastery in Southeastern New Mexico and the only craft bakery in Artesia. We are sourcing specialty grade coffee beans from around the world and roasting them twice a week. You can probably smell our place downtown! Our beautiful bakery will be the source of all our breads and pastries crafted by our in-house baker, Alison Starrett. We also craft many of our syrups from scratch in our kitchen, which has put our drinks above the competition. We’re just continually searching for better. I’m very excited about these improvements that allow us to offer the freshest roasted coffee and baked breads in Artesia and give us the potential to create wholesale accounts and more revenue. It was a win/win for us.
Where did you get the name Kith+Kin?
Rob: ‘Kith + Kin’ is an Old English phrase meaning acquaintances and relatives. Basically, it means our friends and family. When I first heard this phrase, I knew it was perfect for our new brand. It says everything about what I feel the foundation of this business is. Many years ago, my dad told me he wanted to retire and that I should open my dream café in his building. I agreed! I still have photos of him and I on our knees smoothing out concrete in the new construction. My mother and father played a huge role in making this place happen. I couldn’t have done it without them, nor could I have done it without the help from other family members and customers who became close friends and, in a way, family as well. None of K+K is all me. We wouldn’t exist without our friends and family. So, I couldn’t think of a better name than that.
What elements of New Mexico have you incorporated into your business?
Rob: Three years ago, the thought came of creating some green chile latte. After all, it is New Mexico, and I couldn’t believe no one had thought of it yet. So, it was time to get into the kitchen and start testing out recipes. However, I quickly learned why no one was doing it. Everything I tried was horrible. I soon gave up and decided it couldn’t be done. Last year, though, I was motivated to give it another shot and this time, we created a very happy recipe. Honey is the base of this recipe. We are proud to be sourcing honey from hives in Artesia (Pecos Valley Honey, owned by Andrew Davidson). Local honey is excellent for allergies and has many other health benefits. We also add Hatch green chile and a seedless jalapeno for extra flavor. It’s a one-of-a-kind drink you won’t find anywhere else, so we’re very proud to call ourselves “Home of the Green Chile Latte.”
Interview originally published in Focus Regional 2020 Winter edition.