, by Amber Chase Meet the Maker: Bert Davis of DaySol Coffee Lab
, by Amber Chase Meet the Maker: Haand
, by brittany furbee Meet the Maker: Jaclyn Glatzer of Aussie Select
DaySol started as a dedicated roastery headed by Davis in Birmingham, Alabama. “Birmingham still has a small town feel but with all the amenities, and we were welcomed quickly into the community,” says Davis. For Davis, roasting is where his creativity shines. “I’m not much of one for barista tactics or front-of-house knowledge, but roasting is my bread and butter,” says Davis. While DaySol began shortly before COVID-19, they launched with an e-commerce presence and porch-side deliveries in the Birmingham area, positioning them well to tackle the unexpected logistics of the pandemic. This led to a steady rise in brand recognition and more demand for their beans in Birmingham and beyond. DaySol became well known for their Wanderlust Espresso Blend, Canned Cold Brew, Barrel Reserve beans, and current fan-favorite Holiday Blend. Their small garage roastery was able to expand to a full roasting facility and retail coffee shop. Now, only a few years later, DaySol is poised to open their second shop in a few months. Their second store will open in Davis’ own neighborhood and will partner with a local bakery, Good Neighbor Baking, for pastry provision. “Growth is scary. But sometimes the scariest steps are the most worthwhile,” says Davis.
Davis and his business partner, Peter Solis, originally launched the company with the name “Yellow Hammer” after the state bird of Alabama. But, after further research, they decided to move forward with a more universal name. “DaySol” combines the first syllables of Davis and Solis, joined with the letter “Y”, which, notably in their branding, marks the merging of two paths. Davis is particularly proud of their branding and excited for a brand refresh that will be underway in the next year.
When reflecting on his journey as a small business owner thus far, Davis recounts bags of beans piled high in his home kitchen and marvels at the progress DaySol has made. “It’s truly humbling to see people interacting with our brand and leaving reviews from all over the country. Makes me want to continually do better,” says Davis. Small hurdles and wearing many hats is the day to day of small business, and Davis savors it all. He notes, “Entrepreneurship is 90% things you don’t want to do and 10% things you want to do. The 10% makes it entirely worth it.”For Davis, being a Southern maker tugs at his very roots. He grew up on a farm in South Carolina and took his first job at a local Piggly Wiggly. Coming full circle, he now wholesales his own branded coffee beans to six Piggly Wiggly stores in Birmingham. “When you grow up in a small town, everyone knows everyone’s name. Whether you like it or not, you’re known for something. DaySol is now associated with my name and character, and for me, it’s the epitome of the Southern concept of ‘honest work’ and I couldn’t be more proud,” says Davis.