Late in October the founder of Ghostly International, Sam Valenti IV, was featured on the front of the Business section of the New York Times in a profile explaining his vision for the brand, curating a lifestyle for its followers through merchandise, art and music. Partially based in Ann Arbor, Ghostly International, a self-described “multi-platform cultural curator,” was started in a University of Michigan dorm room in 1999. The company has evolved into more of an ethos than a label, with an online store that sells wristwatches, artwork, electronic instruments and now, coffee. As it happens, Ghostly’s lateral foray into branded caffeinated drinks is a collaboration with Ypsi roasters Hyperion Coffee.
So how did Hyperion coffee, a local roastery located in a revamped warehouse space off of River Street in Ypsilanti, manage to partner with noted multi-niche cultural vanguard Ghostly International?
Hyperion Founders, Eric Mullins (R) Dan Kubera (L)
Hyperion, founded in May 2015 by Eric Mullins and Dan Kubera after they left their barista gigs, linked with Ghostly collaborators and co-founders of the local record label Quite Scientific, Brian and Jeremy Peters, through their friend Todd Osborn (a Ghostly artist who records as Osborne).
The Peters brothers, both coffee enthusiasts, hashed out a plan with the guys at Hyperion to roast a unique blend for the label. Through several tastings of a dozen separate roasts, the party eventually settled on a specific dual-origin coffee that consists of 40 percent Uganda Bukonzo, and 60 percent Ethiopia Yirgacheffe. Kubera went so far as to travel to Uganda to visit with the farmers that grow the Bukonzo beans.
Kubera explained that the Ethiopian beans, a lighter bodied coffee with a fruity, floral taste, pair with the mellow Ugandan beans to round out the body of the roast that would become Ghostly’s first branded coffee blend.
Hyperion worked with Ghostly on the packaging, settling on a minimal matte-white bag with a single grey ghost silhouette outlined on the front, a modest-yet-refined design that echoes Ghostly’s creative spirit.
Still in an early product stage, Hyperion roasts individual batches of the Ghostly blend, titled “Washtenaw,” to satisfy each order for the coffee placed on the Ghostly web store.
Though Hyperion plans to eventually sell the product by the bag, and possibly by the cup at local coffee shops, the guys recommend buying the coffee on the Ghostly web store or directly from Hyperion to enjoy it at own home.
Where can you get Hyperion
Babo – www.baboannarbor.com
Sava’s – www.savasrestaurant.com
Aventura – www.aventuraannarbor.com
Pilars Tamales – www.pilarstamales.com
Argus Farms – www.argusfarmstop.com
Ypsi Food Co-Op – www.ypsifoodcoop.org
Cultivate – www.cultivateypsi.com