Local Must

Local MustAaron and Kim Olsen share the story of launching their coffee shop, Handlebar Coffee Roasters, in Santa Barbara as part of the Dirt Road Travels city travel guide for Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara, California

Handlebar Coffee Roasters

"We were pro cyclists, and that wasn't as intense as starting Handlebar."

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Handlebar Coffee Roasters

"We were pro cyclists, and that wasn't as intense as starting Handlebar."

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Kim and Aaron, Co-Owners of Handlebar Coffee Roasters

Our Story

“We were professional cyclists. I think both Aaron and I can appreciate that when you’re on a  cycling team, everyone is chosen, you’re all on one team, you all have the same goals and passion and you’re driven the same way.

Aaron and I can both work all day long and it doesn’t really phase us because that’s what we’re used to. But cycling was not as intense as launching Handlebar Coffee because with cycling you can kind of turn it off. You do your race, you try your best, and there’s not much more you can do.

With starting a business, you can never turn it off.

I think cycling helped because we’re both driven and we want every little aspect to be perfect. That’s why we’ve grown so quickly because no matter what, we work and we’re always pushing for greatness; that’s ingrained in us.”

My Advice for Others

“You have to study, research, practice and surround yourself with great people and always challenge yourself to learn. It’s about always pushing yourself to be better, better and better. 

We read about coffee, we study it, we visit other shops in towns like Portland and Seattle and we’re always trying new things. "

Handlebar Coffee Roasters

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Handlebar Coffee Roasters
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Aaron Olsen
Handlebar Coffee Roasters
Santa Barbara
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Handlebar Coffee Roasters
"We were pro cyclists, and that wasn't as intense as starting Handlebar."
-119.69848009999998
34.4222976

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