Robin Konjer and Landon Zabolotniuk's startup business, Multiply Coffee, supplies Vernon-area shops with coffee roasted fresh, using a zero-emission roaster. (Contributed)

Expert roaster plus ‘numbers guy’ equals early success for Okanagan coffee company

Adding a zero-emission roaster to the equation, Vernon’s Multiply Coffee supplies local shops with environmentally friendly coffee

A young Vernon duo’s new coffee roasting business is now pumping fresh product into local cafés and grocery stores.

Multiply Coffee is a months-old business venture by Robin Konjer and Landon Zabolotniuk. Aged 30 and 29, respectively, the two attribute the success they’ve had starting up to a happy marriage between their rather divergent passions and skillsets.

“I’m more of a numbers type of person; he’s more the coffee snob — in a good way,” Konjer told the Morning Star.

The two are making ample use of their brand-new, 1,500-pound coffee roaster — called a Bellwether, named after the company that first popularized this sort of roaster in California.

That’s because California has environmental regulations on many products and services, including coffee roasting, and the Bellwether is specially designed to produce zero emissions.

“It just hooks up to 220 electrical and that’s it; there’s no gas lines, no venting, nothing like that,” Zabolotniuk said. “The air that actually comes out of it is cleaner than the air that goes in.”

Using locally sourced packaging that’s fully biodegradable, Multiply Coffee supplies local stores with coffee brewed the same day of delivery — for a much-improved taste from regular store-bought, as Zabolotniuk promises.

“The majority of the coffee on the grocery store shelf is stale, and people are actually just used to that.”

Konjer is fresh off a management position at Value Village and says the freedom he was given in that role played a huge part in preparing him for his new passion project.

“I got to reimagine things and they gave me a lot of trust there,” he said. “But I think doing a startup is kind of combining all my passions, really.”

Zabolotniuk has been in a coffee mindset for much longer, having started roasting as a hobby six years ago. Eventually, he walked into Triumph Coffee in downtown Vernon with a sample brew and a business offer.

“They said sure, we’ll serve your coffee.”

Zabolotniuk said from the beginning, he knew he wanted coffee to become more than just a hobby. To take things beyond a bi-weekly offering at Triumph, he recruited Multiply’s other half.

“I realized that if I can do it I need some serious help, so then I reached out to Robin.”

The two spent the early months of the pandemic going for walks together, talking about the things going on in the world that were making them think differently about business and their lives in general.

“That really grew our friendship and our trust in one another,” Konjer said.

As of January, they’ve expanded the business to supply a growing list of clients that currently includes Triumph, Ratio Coffee & Pastry, Butcher Boys, IGA and Armstrong Askews.

More recently they partnered up with Armstrong’s Wild Oak Café, which reopened under new ownership on March 4.

For more information or to get in touch with the business, visit multiplycoffee.com.

READ MORE: Roxy name returning to downtown Vernon with new café

READ MORE: New Vernon pharmacy takes ‘old-school’ approach to cutting-edge care


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

coffee

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C.’s 2021 budget is trending in the right direction to support farmers, says the BC Fruit Growers’ Association. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
B.C. budget receives thumbs up from Okanagan fruit growers

BCFGA general manager said budgetary investments put farming industry on a good trajectory for recovery

Vernon Vipers forward Tyler Carpendale (left) and Salmon Arm Silverbacks counterpart Noah Serdachny keep their eyes on the action during Vernon’s 5-2 B.C. Hockey League pod play win Tuesday, April 20, at Kal Tire Place. (Lisa Mazurek - Vernon Vipers Photography)
Vernon Vipers romp past Salmon Arm

Snakes score 5-2 B.C. Hockey League pod play victory Tuesday, April 20, at Kal Tire Place

Susan Martin and Peter Gook from Salmon Arm are the honorees in Vernon for the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s largest fundraiser, the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s. People are encouraged to register, fundraise and walk throughout May 2021 to support the programs and services of the society. (Contributed)
Salmon Arm couple honoured in this year’s walk for Alzheimer’s

People are asked to participate to raise funds for the Alzheimer Society of B.C.

Members of the city’s environmental advisory committee and some city councillors would like to receive and provide input into an application for a groundwater licence in Salmon Arm for the purpose of bottling fresh water. (Lachlan Labere - Salmon Arm Observer)
Concerns raised over water licence application in Salmon Arm for bottling water

Neighbours want to know more, city councillor concerned about commercial use of public aquifers

Photo: pixabay.com
Morning Start: What does space smell like?

Your morning start for Wednesday, April 21, 2021

A lone traveler enters the Calgary Airport in Calgary, Alta., Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
VIDEO: Trudeau defends Canada’s travel restrictions as effective but open to doing more

Trudeau said quarantine hotels for international air travellers will continue until at least May 21

Lustenberger getting ready to go down one of the last unskied lines at Rogers Pass on Mt. Macdonald. (Photo by Andrew Mcnab)
Meet Christina Lustenberger — one of Revelstoke’s great skiers

The athlete has many first ski descents throughout B.C.

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson leaves the assembly with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Paid sick leave for ‘hard-hit’ workers left out of provincial budget: BCGEU

‘For recovery to be equitable it requires supports for workers, not just business,’ says union president Laird Cronk

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

Sheldon Pierre Louis’s winning mural design, “kʷu mr̓imstn, we are medicine.” (Facebook: Okanagan Nation Alliance)
Syilx artist selected as winner of Kelowna Gospel Mission’s mural project

Sheldon Pierre Louis was also awarded $10,000 for his winning submission, “kʷu mr̓imstn, we are medicine.”

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Rowing Canada sanctions former head coach of B.C. varsity women’s team

Suspension of Barney Williams would be reversed if he complies with certain terms

Most Read