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Rockland's Rock City Coffee is Crowdfunding a Solution to Its Latest Smell Problem

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It's not the first time the roaster has drawn the ire of the neighborhood.

Rock City Cafe, Rockland. The coffee is roasted at a nearby facility.
Rock City Cafe, Rockland. The coffee is roasted at a nearby facility.
Rock City Coffee/FB

Do you like the smell of coffee being brewed in the morning? How about the aroma of beans being roasted down the street? The answer to the latter question seems to be "no" in the town of Rockland, where Rock City Coffee is facing serious problems due to its roasting process.

According to the Facebook event "Save Rock City Crowdfunding Launch Party," the downtown Rockland roaster, which began roasting coffee in 1999, is scrambling to raise funds for "a new state-of-the-art smokeless coffee roaster, without which we may not be allowed to continue to operate!!" The December 12 event is a $10-suggested-donation all-ages show featuring local bands like The Dolphin Strikers, and will kick off the company's IndieGoGo campaign.

If you're feeling a distinct sense of deja vu, you're not crazy: in 2008 a similar story went national when "neighborhood complaints about the odor emanating from a local gourmet coffee roaster prompted its owner to come up with a plan to increase the height of his roastery's smokestack," as ABC News reported at the time. The extra 15 feet of smokestack appeased concerned parties...until now.

Responding on Facebook to questions about the latest issue, Rock City Coffee told fans, "It's a combination of things and even though our neighbors, who are working closely with us about this, offered to extend the stack we are still facing complaints regarding the smoke, chaff, and smell that can no longer be ignored." Hence, the quest for a high-tech machine to cut off the problem at the root, rather than the branch: "This roaster eliminates all of the emissions."