We had the good fortune of connecting with Dan Romeo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dan, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I started TRVLR Coffee Roaster toward the end of 2017, but it took until Jan 2019 to land a roasting location and get all permits sorted out with the City. It took 2019 to doing the BD to set the company up for success. However, when Covid hit the majority of my business was taken away. I had to pivot and went from strictly a wholesale coffee roasting company to having a small retail space in Mission Gorge. From there I decided to start my next venture: One Season Brewing Co. This is officially San Diego’s newest craft brewery. We are days away from our official green light to brew from San Diego ABC. It’s been a 6 month journey and I really couldn’t be happier. Having a brewery allows me to have a nightly business – a tasting room, and also a morning business of coffee sales via TRVLR. Both TRVLR and One Season are the definition of craft. Small batch roasting and small batch brewing. I set out creating One Season Brewing Co the same way I started TRVLR … I wanted to create something that has community connection as its goal. I have only wanted to create brands that bring people together.
What should our readers know about your business?
In a weird way Covid was the best thing that could have happened to TRVLR Coffee. Without Covid I wouldn’t have started brewing. I mean, I wanted to brew but that was 3+ years from now. I also wanted to create a retail space for TRVLR, but again, that was a few years down the line. I jumped into both due to necessity. Actually, it wasn’t just necessity … it was survival. I had to pivot and pivot hard. I needed to redo and revamp my entire business plan. My vision for TRVLR was never JUST coffee … I have always spoken about TRVLR as being “more than just coffee.” To make that a reality I started brewing my own house organic kombucha – which everyone really loves! Also, I wanted to create a space that was unique and not just an ordinary coffee shop so I went ahead and started retail partnerships with Onewheel, Magneto Longboards, and State Bicycle companies. My goal of having a company that was both unique and based upon having a true experience has been realized. It hasn’t been easy. 2020 was without a doubt the most trying time of my life. The work isn’t over yet. It has only just begin. I hope people feel something different when they walk inside the Roastarito – the warehouse where One Season Brewing and TRVLR Coffee exists. It’s different and I really want people to see and feel that. This is the TRVLR Experience.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
A normal weekend adventure with a friend would be a hike up Cowels Mnt in the morning, grab a beer at a local brewery in North Park, tacos from any number of amazing places, and probably a visit to the beach or Sunset Cliffs for sunset. Those are the staples that I think any person living here would agree to do with a visitor. I have a love for all things North Park since I lived there for seven years. That area has come so far with so many amazing restaurants and breweries. The nightlife and hip culture are second to none. Since my friend, Sergio Howland, is the chef at Flap Your Jacks … I’d recommend hitting up Flaps for breakfast too.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The One Season Brewing story would not be possible without the help from a friend, Sergio Howland. He is a former brewer and currently executive chef at Flap Your Jacks in North Park. He really helped guide me and gave me the confidence to brew. He planted the seeds of what could be possible. We have had a great time learning the equipment and making mistakes together. It’s been a wonderful experience.
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