The Road to Reconstruction


It’s time to fully admit it. We’ve started a coffee roasting company…without a coffee roaster.

We have awesome ideas, a killer plan, and we even have a home for our roaster (albeit a home that’s in need of total gut renovation)...but no coffee yet. Everything has to start somewhere, right?

I promise you, it will all make perfect sense.

Our founders are Clayton and Erin Smith. Clayton is a marketing master, professor of entrepreneurship, author, podcaster, coffee lover, and especially tall human. Erin is an administrative wizard, singer, dancer, actress, and teacher who loves to drink coffee in the middle of the day and is always on the hunt for good decaf. They currently live in Chicago, but in two months they’ll be moving back to the St. Louis area, near Clayton’s hometown of Villa Ridge, Missouri. It’s true, Erin has never actually lived in St. Louis (wait, does ten weeks living in Kirkwood in 2005 while performing at Stages St. Louis count?), but she has some deep roots there–her grandparents grew up in the Shaw neighborhood and met at Roosevelt High School before getting married and moving to Southern California. Most of Clayton’s (quite) extended family still lives in Missouri.

When Erin and Clayton started dreaming of leaving the big city life behind–Clayton has lived in Chicago for over a decade, and Erin lived in NYC for fifteen years before moving to Chicago in 2017–new possibilities of what life could look like began bubbling to the surface. They wanted to start making something tangible. They wanted to make something they loved and that they could share with friends and family. They wanted to become a part of the Midwest’s rich small business community and bring everything they love about coffee to their new future home. They wanted to bring their family closer together.

The solution was a bootstrapping small business–a coffee roasting cooperative called Reconstruction Coffee Roasters.

Bringing more of the St. Louis-area Smith family on board was a no-brainer. Clayton’s sister Emily is a genius photographer, real estate agent, natural salesperson, loving wife and mother, and happens to be a Seattle-certified coffee barista! Clayton’s mom, Denise, is a brilliant bookkeeper, experienced business manager, and a born leader! Clayton’s dad, Randy, is a master craftsman, artisan, Catholic deacon, and building facilities expert! DREAM TEAM!

Oh, and the whole family’s obsessed with coffee. That helps, too.

So here we are, bright-eyed and future-facing in front of our soon-to-be-roasting headquarters. We’d love to have you along for the ride as we embark upon our building renovation phase, then our roaster-buying phase, soon to be followed by what we can only expect to be the birth of the very best coffee ever roasted in Villa Ridge, Missouri.

Click here to subscribe to our future newsletters and blog posts. We can’t wait to share a cup of Reconstruction Coffee with you!


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