About Us

1993

Oso Negro was born in Nelson, BC, and fledged from a 100-year-old, brick-lined room roasting with a 1 kg Petroncini roaster. We focused on keeping things fresh, simple and enjoyable. Our steep learning curve was shared by our customers. The roasting room doubled as a café, and it was our pleasure to visit with customers and serve coffee to our neighbours.

1996

Within a few years we were invited to join up with The Only Bagel Co. a few blocks away. The new café space soon became a busy social hub where Nelsonites could connect on the way to work, play, or spend time hashing out the next creative project. Simultaneously, we graduated to an old 12 kg Probat roaster.

1999

The 12 kg Probat found a home in the historic Kootenay Warehousing and Brewery building,  five blocks up the hill from the café. Over time we continued to craft blends and understand with each passing season the intricacies of the various farms and countries we sourced from. Together with ongoing customer feedback and our increasing experience we grew, slowly and steadily until we required the next roaster, a beautiful 1950’s 22 kg Probat, that kept us satiated for the following fourteen years.

2004

Our downtown café was bursting at the seams from a flattering and growing demand. As we searched around town for the next incarnation of our café, a quiet property one block away came up for sale, and with a firm indication of confidence and support  from our local Credit Union, we were enabled to step into the construction mode and create our flagship cafe, boasting the contributions of dozens of local artists. The Oso Negro Café now serves as a common space for our community that reflects our deep appreciation of our local surroundings and the creative soul of Nelson.

Communication, connection and nourishment are some of our key objectives.

2016

When we started out on this journey in the 1990’s, we would have been hard-pressed to imagine ourselves outgrowing our beautiful 22kg Probat roaster. However, this is what we came to acknowledge in the spring of 2016. With uncanny timing, the stars aligned within days of the beginning our search,  and we found a beautifully restored 45 kg Probat roaster to relocate into our expanding, historic facility.   This handsome piece of  1954 technology is the metronomic heartbeat of our operations today.

Come visit us!

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