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The interior of So. G Coffee in South Glastonbury

Featured Article

Fresh Coffees From Around the World

So. G Coffee Co in South Glastonbury is a Coffee Roaster

Article by Eileen M. McNamara

Photography by Eileen M. McNamara

Originally published in Glastonbury Lifestyle

Stepping into So. G Coffee Roasters, the first thing you notice is the enveloping warmth of the small shop. The second is what’s creating much of that warmth: the large, red coffee roaster machine that emits a pleasant hum as it stirs aromatic coffee beans that are cooling in a steel bin.

“I roast about 21 pounds of coffee beans at a time,” explains Karen McRee, the owner of So. G Coffee Roasters. “Each batch takes about 15 minutes to roast, but I can alter the flavor of each roast by altering the roasting time.” 

The coffee shop takes its name - pronounced So-Gee - from its location at 822 Main St., in South Glastonbury. 

A longtime veteran of the food service industry, Karen and her family moved to Glastonbury about 20 years ago and she went to work for Daybreak Coffee Roasters. There, she learned the art of roasting fresh coffee beans and later opened her own roasting house in the heart of South Glastonbury.  

Besides offering several different coffee blends - including the popular Vienna and Breakfast Blend roasts - So G bakes its own pastries, and offers two different soups for lunch, including a vegetarian option. 

The business has thrived, Karen says, because of her commitment to quality and because it’s become a part of the unique neighborhood community in South Glastonbury. She said she strives to know her regular customers and what they like. 

“Just remembering someone’s name is important because they feel you care about them and I do,” she says. “Business has been great, So. G has become this gathering spot that I couldn’t have imagined when I first opened it.” 

So. G also has met challenges head-on during its 14 years in business, including  transitioning the coffee house to a take-out model during the pandemic. Karen said she and her employees did so by using two porch-facing windows as an order and pickup station. It has since resumed normal operations, with indoor and outdoor seating. 

She’s also weathered other personal tragedies and setbacks. Last July, her son died and when her coffee roaster was damaged in a fire last summer Karen learned it would take months to replace it. That’s when another roasting company, Perkatory Coffee Roasters, jumped in and offered to let Karen use their machine to roast her coffee beans. 

Perkatory’s owners, Johanna and Joe Perazella, operate coffee shops in Middletown, Southington and Branford, and recently opened a new one at 625 New Park Ave., in West Hartford. Karen says she has since gotten a new roaster and remains friends with Johanna and Joe as well as grateful for their assistance during such a difficult time in her life.

“Because of their help, I didn’t miss a beat with my business, it all ran seamlessly. I was just so touched by their kindness. It took so much stress off of me.”

So. G Coffee Roaster

882 Main St., South Glastonbury


On Facebook and Instagram: @Sogcoffee

  • Karen shows a visitor the large coffee roaster inside So. G Coffee in South Glastonbury.
  • Karen, on the porch of So. G Coffee in South Glastonbury.
  • Racks of finished coffee products inside So. G Coffee
  • The interior of So. G Coffee in South Glastonbury
  • The interior of So. G Coffee in South Glastonbury
  • Karen purchased a new coffee roaster last year to replace on damaged in a fire.
  • Karen monitors coffee beans roasting inside So. G's new roaster.
  • Karen checks the beans in the bin of her new coffee roaster.
  • The coffee roaster at So. G
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