Former barista launches Huntsville coffee enterprise to supply fresh, locally roasted beans

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Shannon King started out as a barista in a New York City Starbucks.

A lot has changed. A lot hasn't.

She still loves making coffee, and that's why she's now roasting beans in the back of Honeypie Bakery in Huntsville.

King tells us, "I really missed home. I missed my family. I decided that it was time to go home. I'd been gone a long time. I never thought I was going to be gone that long."

Ironically, she says one the best parts about coming home is getting away from the noise, though now she deals with a deafening roaster.

She built a whole business around her love of the bean.

She started with a one-pound roaster, that sits in the back of Honeypie like a museum artifact.

Now she's got a beast of a roaster. She launched a Kickstarter campaign just to get it.  She raised over ten grand to make the dream come true.

What once took her a week, now takes her a few hours.

It lets her supply fresh roasted beans to stores all over area.

But she also debuted a unique product.

King recalls, "I started selling at farmers markets, and it was pretty hot in the summer. People started asking if I had cold coffee."

So she started creating Highbrow Cold Coffee Concentrate. You just mix this cold concentrate with milk or water, and you get, well you get the same reaction every time.

"People, when they tried it for the first time, their eyebrows would raise," expresses King, "And I would wait for it every single time. And people would try it, and they'd get that look."

Hence the name.

She says she fills about sixty bottles a week right now, but she plans to keep upping the production every year.

She sells at the Greene Street Market, or you can learn more about purchasing here.