Transpiring from sheer curiosity and a hankering for “better coffee,”  the evolution of Banyan Coffee Co.—a specialty roaster in Bradenton—was far from expected for husband and wife Josh and Abbey Schmitt.“I actually never used to have a desire for coffee,” admits Josh laughingly, “but during my time in aviation, that was really the only thing available, and all the other pilots would drink it. So I eventually did too, but started wanting to see what other options were out there.”

Powered, at the time, by a single popcorn popper, Josh’s humble ardor for experimenting with different coffee beans unwittingly sprouted into a burgeoning side hustle as word of his freshly roasted creations began to circulate.  

“I really enjoyed sharing all the different coffee options with others. So everytime I found something I liked, I would make more for fellow pilots, friends and family. Over time, I ended up accumulating 20 to 30 popcorn poppers in my garage, with four to six of them going at a time.” With a growing list of coffee orders and full-time job flying, Josh found himself at a crossroads that would ultimately pave the way for Banyan Coffee Co.’s success. 

“My passion for coffee roasting was never intended to be a business,” reflects Josh, “but my wife always encouraged me to do what I love. So I started thinking: What do I love? I loved aviation, but then I also loved coffee and wanted to start a family, have kids. As a pilot, you’re always traveling, so it was either a flying career or married life. That at the time was difficult. “Now, two adorable children, a supportive wife and a thriving coffee-roasting business later, Josh Schmitt says with great ease, “I look back and see it was a no brainer.