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Women Who Roast: Karen Lopez

Women who roast: Karen Lopez

Community in a Cup

You could say Karen Lopez was always destined to provide Surrey with freshly roasted, impeccably smooth coffee, even if it took her 18 years of endless driving as a Sales Rep to realise her destiny right in her own backyard.

Born in Jamaica, Karen’s grandfather owned a Blue Mountain Coffee Factory, so coffee has always been a part of the family. Karen started her business as a online green coffee bean business. In 2017, Karen and her wife took the big leap and opened up their cafe/roastery in the growing Campbell Heights Business Park area of Surrey called Spent Grounds. “I wanted to […] provide freshly roasted coffee beans in Surrey as there didn’t seem to be many onsite roasters” in the city, Lopez tells us. “The best way to provide consumers with a great coffee experience is to roast beans onsite. When beans are freshly roasted, they taste a lot different that beans that are over a month old.” Fun fact: did you know that a batch of beans only takes about 12-15 minutes to roast? Spent Grounds roasts their beans weekly, meaning you won’t taste bitter or burnt coffee, even in your dark roast morning cuppa from Spent Grounds.  

Spent Grounds brings a lot more than smooth, fresh java to Surrey’s community. Dedicated to uplifting local businesses, Spent Grounds carries a variety of gluten-free goodies and vegan offerings sourced by Canadian companies and local makers. “We are here to promote small local businesses because we believe we have products that are just as good as what you can get south of the border,” explains Lopez. “Plant-based and gluten-free products are not fads but are, in fact, the future and we were one of the first places in our area to see this and offer a wide selection of both.” So if you’re into supporting local businesses, plant-based eating, or have sensitivities to certain allergens, Spent Grounds is the place to pick up a snack, or stock your fridge with vegan cheeses, plant-based entrees, and gluten-free goods.

When you do visit Spent Grounds, plan to stick around for a while. “Our shop is a gathering place for families, industrial workers and folks passing through from Surrey to Langley and vice versa,” she says. The cafe has a lounge (complete with a door) that has toys and a space perfect for little ones and their parents. Spent Grounds also specialises in pour-over coffee, meaning you have a minute or two to chat with fellow customers, or even Karen herself!