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MEANINGFUL OPPORTUNITY: Alex Inoue is the general manager of Shiru Cafe in Providence. Shiru provides free coffee, tea and juice for college students, and makes its money from companies that advertise recruitment on in-store displays, cups and through staff members. Behind Inoue is a pastry case. / PBN PHOTO/KATE TALERICO

Free java the lure for students

A new cafe has come to Providence’s College Hill with a no-cost pitch some patrons can’t afford to pass up: free coffee, tea and...
SUCCESSION PLAN: Bob Mastin, owner of Custom House Coffee in Middletown, has slowly been transferring ownership of the company over the past 15 months to employees. His goal is to turn over ownership to “the key people” that want to carry on the company after he steps down. / PBN PHOTO/KATE WHITNEY LUCEY

Custom House Coffee a tenant draw

Frustrated he could not keep an anchor tenant in his Middletown commercial complex, Bob Mastin opened Custom House Coffee in 2002 to “enhance” the...
FOURTEEN PERCENT of the ownership of Custom Coffee Company in Middletown has been transferred to employees as of Thursday. / COURTESY BOB MASTIN

Middletown coffeehouse sells shares to employees

MIDDLETOWN - After one year, 14 percent of the ownership of Middletown-based Custom Coffee Co. has transitioned to 14 of its 21 part-time and...

Local coffee roaster now employee owned

MIDDLETOWN – Custom House Coffee is now owned by 14 of its employees, the company announced Feb. 6. Founder Robert Mastin began selling shares...
FRESH BREW: Before founding Custom Coffee House, Robert Mastin had a number of other jobs, including serving as a naval officer, author and contractor. Mastin learned to roast coffee at home, and in 2002 founded his company. / PBN PHOTO/KATE WHITNEY LUCEY

Coffee roaster eyes wholesale growth

Just over a year ago, Custom Coffee House launched Veteran Coffee Roasters, a new local brand featuring six different varieties that returns $1 for...
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