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In pictures: Perfecting the coffee roast at Pig Iron

Co-founder of Lit Espresso Bar is roasting his own beans in a Mississauga warehouse

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Joseph Angellotti, owner and chief roaster at Pig Iron Coffee Roasters, is looking to draw more wholesale accounts to his business. He and his sister, Nicole Angellotti, co-founded two Lit Espresso Bar locations in Toronto, and then Mr. Angellotti bought a coffee roaster and started roasting his own beans in a Mississauga warehouse.

Michelle Siu/The Globe and Mail

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Chief roaster Joseph Angellotti holds a handful of green coffee beans that have yet to be roasted. Mr. Angellotti has six wholesale accounts, including the two Lit locations, but the company is primed to expand. “All I think about is coffee. Even when I’m sleeping. If you don’t have the love, I don’t think you could be a good roaster,” he says.

Michelle Siu/The Globe and Mail

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Mr. Angellotti monitors the precise temperature of a batch of coffee beans. He says he isn’t sure what he should do next to build his wholesale business. He is sinking Pig Iron’s profits into buying the highest-quality coffee so that, when he shops his roasts to potential clients, the product will speak for itself. But he’s wondering whether he should instead hire a salesperson to hit the road and bring in new accounts.

Michelle Siu/The Globe and Mail

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A picture on the wall at Pig Iron Coffee Roasters.

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Mr. Angellotti hand-packages coffee. He and one colleague roast for only two days a week, so the company has room to grow.

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Joseph Angellotti tastes a batch of freshly roasted coffee. Last month, Lit barista Josh Tarlo, with the help of Pig Iron’s product, came in third place at the World Brewers Cup in Melbourne, Australia, putting the brand on an international stage.

Michelle Siu/The Globe and Mail

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The College Street location of Lit, the Toronto espresso bar founded by Mr. Angellotti and his sister.

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The Roncesvalles Avenue location of Lit.

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