Crux Coffee Roasters Hopes To Shake Coffee Drinkers Out Of Their Routine

Byron Gomez wants to make people as interested in coffee as he is.

by Alex Galbraith
September 18, 2018

Byron Gomez kind of stumbled into the coffee world. But the Baton Rouge native’s latest project is anything but unintentional.

Nearly a decade after the head of the coffee program at the teeny and considered French Quarter coffee shop Spitfire became a barista “accidentally,” he’s launched his own roastery with the aim of bringing great-tasting, interesting and sustainably sourced coffees to New Orleans.

“I really didn’t know how much I would fall in love with being a barista,” the 29-year-old owner of Crux Coffee Roasters told Very Local in a recent interview. “[That] is probably a good thing because it’s taken me like 10 years to get to where I’m starting a roasting company.”

Gomez said that he thinks that the time is ripe for specialty roasters in the city, noting the way that New Orleans has gotten into third-wave coffee since he moved back to the city in 2012.

“I was kind of in shock at the lack of specialty coffee,” he said of the landscape back then. “There certainly were people around before Spitfire but it’s kind of exploded over the last few years. I think Spitfire was a big catalyst of that. I’m really happy to have been part of that team and watch it kind of blossom and explode.”

Gomez wants his roastery to be a place where adventurous coffee drinkers can find an interesting cup that they don’t have to feel guilty about. Luckily, quality coffee leads to more ethically sourced beans somewhat naturally.

“My driving force behind wanting to be a roaster is a lot of the sustainability efforts,” he said. “The only thing that makes coffee cost any more is quality. [Coffee industry people] kind of dress it up and try and sell you on the idea of the farmer and the farmer’s dog and that the coffee is picked by hand and more than 10 sets of hands touch it before you get it. But really what drives the price up is quality. Crux is focusing 100% on quality kind of indirectly to fuel back into those sustainability efforts.”

The barista and roaster sees Crux as part of a wave of new roasters that will come to New Orleans as the city’s interest in specialty coffee continues to grow. However, he hopes to set Crux apart by being able to trace his coffee back to the source and share that story with customers.

“The slogan or mantra that I’m kind of pushing is ‘great coffees tell great stories,'” he said. “Everything from seed to cup, I want to be able to have all of that information traceable and ready. Hopefully, for customers who don’t care to dive into all that information, that manifests in the cup and every coffee that they taste is unique and individual.”

Ultimately, Gomez just wants to be a source for seekers who want something “new and exciting” out of their coffee.

“For the longest time coffee was kind of viewed…as this monotone commodity,” he said. “[Crux is] throwing this idea of consistency out of the window and introducing people to chasing the dragon of just how deep that [specialty coffee] rabbit hole can be. Who wants to taste the same thing every day?”

Crux Coffee can currently be found at Spitfire and the soon-to-be reopened Pax Treme coffeehouse. Learn more at their Instagram.

He has a distinct voice that you will come to know more as you follow VL NOLA. He has shown himself to be an intrepid entertainment and culture writer, who always knows about the best events, happenings and performers before anybody else. Now, he’s going to tell you all about them here at Very Local NOLA.

More Local Stories

Eat Play Stay Orlando: Sanford

On this episode of Eat Play Stay Orlando explore what’s new in the Northern part of town. Sanford has a plethora of breweries, bars, and delicious dining options to choose from.

Hometown Tragedy: The Pike County Massacre

On this episode of Hometown Tragedy: Missing in Milwaukee, we’ll explore what happened to Jerica Banks, her children, and how it impacted their community.

Six New Orleans parks that are perfect locations to celebrate 4th of July

Head to one of these six New Orleans parks to celebrate Independence Day in the city.

Cheap Date Orlando: Punk Rock & Pooches

Two Orlando couples shop vintage, search for the perfect slice, visit a post-apocalyptic saloon, and take the stage on blind dates in Orlando.

Fit and Fab: Free summer workouts in Boston

Cover photo courtesy Getty Images Looking to get fit for the summer? Still wary of COVID-19 or just looking for some sunshine while you sweat? Here are some Boston free summer workouts across the city so you can keep moving all season long! Seaport Sweat May 2 to Sept. 29 Boston’s biggest free workout series…

What’s On the Menu?: Farm-to-table

The farm-to-table movement brings locally grown foods to your plate. Not only will enjoying farm-to-table meals allow you to indulge in fresh, nutritional, seasonal dishes, but farm-to-table dining helps the environment and supports the local economy.  Check out these delicious farm-to-table restaurants in Greenville, South Carolina on the latest episode of What’s On the Menu?. …

A guide to some of the best Black-owned brunch spots in NOLA

Gather the crew together, make those reservations, and celebrate all things Black at brunch. 

A guide to Pittsburgh’s summer events must-do list

Check out our roundup below for the can’t-miss events happening in the city over the next few months.

Eat Play Stay Orlando: Tarpon Springs

In this episode of Eat Play Stay Orlando you’ll be transported to a thriving Greek community nestled on Florida’s gulf coast. From sponge diving to flaming cheese to a Greek bakery that supplies a ginormous amount of baklava to the entire country, you’re sure to fall in love with Greek culture in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

Dorchester doughnuts that pack a paczki

These traditional Polish pastries are the real deal.

black owned brunch spots new orleans 14 parishes

A guide to some of the best Black-owned brunch spots in NOLA

Gather the crew together, make those reservations, and celebrate all things Black at brunch. 

Queen Trini Lisa’s Ascension to New Orleans’ Caribbean Soul Food Throne

Lisa Nelson didn’t plan on being a chef. She didn’t anticipate becoming a queen either, but true to the most beloved of royalty, the people made her one.

A grab-and-go food guide to the MSY New Orleans terminal

Time. Most of us don’t have a lot of that. Even less so when we’re rushing to make a flight. There are still plenty of tasty options for the less leisurely travelers among us, though it helps to know where to find them.

Chef Dee Lavigne expands the only Black-owned cooking school in New Orleans

Deelightful Roux School of Cooking is the only African American-owned cooking school taught by a New Orleans native, and her class is a guide to New Orleans’ food culture.