Save Our Smell! Local Roaster Cited

Save Our Smell! Local Roaster Cited

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Faith Durand
Jan 28, 2008

In Rockland, Maine, a small local coffee roaster is in jeopardy after complaints that the smell of their roasting coffee is too strong. Rock City Coffee Roasters has been in business for over 16 years, and they roast their coffee three days a week.

Neighbors have complained and said the smell is too strong. When they sent a formal complaint labeling them a public nuisance, a city "odor committee" came to objectively assess the situation. They agreed, and now the small roaster needs to find a way to reduce the smell - perhaps through an expensive smokestack that will diffuse the roasting odor.

Even though Rock City received over 1200 signatures on their "Save Our Smell" petition, the city is still insisting that the smell be reduced in some way.

Below, our take...

While we are sympathetic to city officials who are often bullied by the whims of many people, we do think that if people want to support local businesses over large chains, they need to accept what will come with fresh, local food and goods like this coffee. The production of local goods and produce comes with its own set of side effects and costs in a local community, and if fresh, well-roasted coffee is something the community values, then shouldn't they accept the side effects of roasting it locally, with the jobs it creates there?

That's just our take, though - any other thoughts?

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