KODIAK -- In the basement of the Harborside Fly-By coffee shop is a bag from Burundi.
Next to it is one from Nicaragua and a sack from Indonesia.
The bags of coffee have come from around the world, but all have gathered in Kodiak at the new home of the Great Alaskan Bean Co., which has been purchased by Harborside Inc.
Gary Barnes, who has roasted coffee beans on Kodiak since 1995, is staying on as roastmaster, giving Kodiak coffee drinkers the same brew even as the label changes.
"We started talking, and we thought if we combined, that would leave Gary to do what he's best at," said Harborside co-owner Doreece Mutch.
Harborside, which started 16 years ago, already purchased most of Great Alaskan's beans, and combining operations made practical sense.
Harborside gave Barnes a bigger space to work with, a new ventilation system and a free hand.
"There's so much more space in here," said Barnes from his new Mill Bay Road headquarters. "It's wonderful."
The light and airy space overlooking Lilly Lake is an improvement over his cramped quarters in Monashka, but coffee drinkers need not be alarmed: He still uses the same roaster he has been using for years.
Getting that roaster across town took some planning, however. Any malfunction would interrupt Kodiak's supply of fresh coffee beans, leaving islanders groggy and caffeine-deprived.
"I was careful to pick my day, had some coffee and some good friends," Barnes said. "You can't stop serving coffee."
They moved at night, taking the roaster apart and putting it back together in one day. The roasting setup has been in place for more than a week now, and on Tuesday, Barnes was bagging 1-pound sacks of beans to sell at Harborside's two locations.
Many large-scale coffee roasting operations produce a distinctive smell, but Harborside paid for a special afterburner that scrubs the air.
"We have the airport right there," Mutch said, "and all the lakeside. We didn't want to be bad neighbors."
Barnes currently processes 16 varieties of beans from nations around the world. He estimates that in the last seven years, he has roasted about 100,000 pounds of coffee for Kodiak, keeping fishermen and office workers perked up and on the job.
If all goes well, the newly expanded space will allow Harborside to expand its operations, selling more beans to more customers. The Gear Up coffee shop at Kodiak State Airport and the Kodiak High School Booster Club also buy Harborside beans, but Mutch said she has her eyes on the fishing fleet.
"If they know when they're heading out, we can roast it up the day before," she said.
More sales would allow Harborside to purchase another roasting machine, setting the stage for further expansion.
For now, most of the changes are invisible to most coffee drinkers. They're too busy pulling up to the drive-through or counter to wonder about what's happening beneath their feet in Harborside's Mill Bay Road store.
If they do get curious, Barnes is happy to show them around.
"We wanted to get a more public space," he said. "I loved that little roaster in Monashka, but this is so much better."