If you live in the Buckskin area, you’ve probably smelt it. On a daily basis, the crew at Leapknot Coffee Roasters is getting their coffee ready to ship and serve. While they may spend the entire week working, the business is only open on Wednesdays.
Owner and operator Travis Voskamp said the “other six days” are mostly spent standing by the roaster and roasting.
“We have a core group of clients, we call our subscribers, that we roast for every month,” Voskamp said. “The process of roasting for our coffee subscribers just takes a long time.”
While coffee has been the name of the game for the Voskamp family over the past several years, Travis and his wife Megan were originally in totally different fields of work in an entirely different part of the country.
“We started Leapknot in 2013, back in our hometown of Midland, Tex.,” Travis said.
Before the caffeine craze, Travis was working as a teacher and dean of students. After 13 years, he decided it was time for something new.
“So, a pastor friend of mine had a little coffee roaster and gave me a sample of fresh-roasted coffee, and I had never tasted anything like it,” he explained. “It’s like the difference between fresh-baked bread and bread on the shelf — you know, they’re both called bread but one is a distinctive, amazing experience.”
Travis said he fell in love with the coffee and the roasting process, so he began to do research and tour roasteries.
“And then, we just decided to take the leap and bought a little, small roaster and started learning about it and then kind of put my years’ notice in with the school and just kind of went full bore into the coffee roasting business.”
The couple says they spent the first six months in a trial and error phase, roasting “terrible coffee.”
In 2016, the family moved from Texas to Idaho, setting up the business where the old Caribou ski resort once was.
Since then, it’s been beans and brews once a week, every week.
Travis says, on average, between 15-30 groups make their way up for their Wednesday fill of beans or pour-over style coffee.
Leapknot also roasts for Pocatello businesses such as Fifth Street Bagelry and Butterburr’s.
Travis said he doesn’t keep track of exactly how many pounds they roast each month, but said it was several hundred.
“It’s enough to keep us busy,” he added.
So, about the name. What is Leapknot?
“The name represents being able to take a leap of faith to go after stuff you care about,” Travis explained, “And the ‘not’ represents relationships, how we’re all interlocked together.”
It is Travis’ belief that his customers want to be part of something special.
“So, I think that’s the thing. You don’t drive up here just to get coffee, I feel like they’re driving up here to participate in the values of the business.”
Two regulars, Chuck Zimmerly and Bob Kennedy, sitting fireside, keep coming back for the coffee they enjoy and the atmosphere that gets them to sit down and stay awhile.
“Chuck and I used to be coffee connoisseurs, or at least thought we were, and we would always buy Italian coffee,” Kennedy said, “and Leapknot is as good as any of those.”
The unique experience you can only get 52 times a year.