About the founders of Toomer’s Coffee Roasters

Founders of Auburn’s iconic brand, Toomer’s Coffee Shop and now Toomer’s Coffee Roasters


Sandy & Trish Toomer

Visitors to Toomer’s Coffee Company™ in Auburn are often amused to find out the founders (us) name really is Toomer.  However let me clear the air: we are “kissin-cousins” only to the Auburn Toomers.

However, my great-great-great Grandfather, Benjamin Toomer and two of his brothers, arrived as founding fathers of another famous town, Hilton Head, SC in the 1700’s.  I know all of this because my father, Fred Toomer,  helped write a book on the Toomer family history.

Now, about Sandy & Trish Toomer

Trish and Sandy Toomer have been happily married for 36 years and have two grown children, Harrison (30) and Sarah (27).  Sandy is a native of Vestavia Hills, Alabama and Trish is from Hurricane, West Virginia.
From 1990-93 we were in training at Moody Aviation (a part of Moody Bible Institute) and after graduation, joined Mission Aviation Fellowship in 1993 and served as missionaries to the South American country of Ecuador.

Sandy was a missionary pilot with MAF and flew [as a commercial pilot] nearly 3,000 hours serving missionaries and indigenous tribes of the Amazon rainforest while Trish provided hospitality for visitors to the Shell Ecuador base.  In that role as Hospitality Coordinator for MAF’s base in Shell, she provided a home away from home for hundreds of visitors and workers from churches worldwide each year and was the link and “shopper” for missionaries living in the jungle.  Harrison and Sarah attended Nate Saint Memorial School in Shell.



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Since that time, in addition to Trish & Sandy’s joint venture, Toomer’s Coffee Company™, Sandy also owns and operates a successful new media company, Flying Tigers Media.

In 2014 Sandy was asked to run for the Alabama State Legislature. It was a relatively close race against a 16 year incumbent and Speaker of the Alabama House however it was not his year to shine in politics. However the word is he will be back seeing politics as just another way to continue serving the people of Auburn and Alabama.

Today, 2016

We first opened Toomer’s Coffee Company™ in downtown Opelika, a short hop from Auburn, in 2004.

However, since so many of our regular coffee-bean-buying customers were from Auburn, they kept after us to move the shop over to Auburn.

So, in August of 2005 we opened our doors in the University Village shopping center on South College Avenue, located right behind Loco’s. SInce that time we have sold ouyor retail shop interests

The Future

As of July 2013 we leave the retail side of Toomer’s Coffee Roasters to new owners to focus our entire efforts on building and growing our wholesale business regionally and nationally which includes BOTH Toomer’s Coffee Roasters™ and Coffee 4 Missions™.

About Infrared Coffee Roasters

Toomer’s Coffee is extremely proud when we share that we use a Diedrich Manufacturing Infrared coffee roaster.  Here’s why.

Diedrich Manufacturing has been the leader in infrared coffee roasting equipment for over half a century. Beyond that infrared coffee roasters are so phenomenally superior to other conventional coffee roasting methods there was never any question what machine we would use.

It puts Toomer’s Coffee Roasters in a unique class of specialty custom coffee roasters as it is estimated that only 2%* of all coffee roasted uses this higher-standard processing method.

BACKGROUND: A comparison of more traditional methods

Many people today are enjoying Toomer’s Coffee without stomach sensitivity due to our low (ph) acid coffee (not to be confused with the “acidity” flavor characteristic).

One of our regular on-line buyers today, a heart surgeon from Texas commented during a visit to Auburn for a football game (War Eagle! by the way baby…), that ours was the only coffee that didn’t upset his stomach. Let me add, that’s not an unusual comment we hear either.

Here’s why…

During the typical commercial roasting process natural acids are produced that can produce heartburn sensations and upset stomach to some with sensitive stomachs.  However this need not be so.

toomers_coffee_roasters_shop_nowTypical commercial roasters run the coffee along a conveyor belt system and blow hot air from a gas flame manifold beneath them.  Kind of like some hamburger chains cook their hamburgers.  Another is to simply tumble them in the gas flame heated hot air like a commercial dryer used at the cleaners.

Both of these types of roasters tend to “burn” the bean causing an unevenness in the roasting process that does not fully remove these acid producing compounds.


The vast majority of coffees available today, even most specialty coffees are roasted in the manner described above.

As I said earlier, our less common (rare?) infrared roasting technique is only used by an exclusive class of roasters,  approximately 2% of all specialty coffees produced.

Here are a few other remarkable improvements our infrared roaster produces in your daily cup:

  • Sandy in front of his favorite roaster!

    The beans increase in temperature quicker than those roasted by hot air. Studies have shown that compared to conventional roasting, infrared roasting showed less increase in radicals on the bean during and after the roasting process.

  • Highly noticeable was the consistent formation of brown colored compounds showing the bean was uniformly heated and never burned.
  • The infrared roasted beans had a quick increase in the internal temperature and thus suffer from less damage on the surface.
  • The study also revealed a uniform and quick decrease in moisture and showed the beans undergo uniform heating even at the core.
  • Even more noteworthy were the changes in the contents of citric acid, malic acid and formic acid that are naturally found in the bean. When monitored and compared to conventional roasting, infrared roasted coffee beans showed changes from an earlier stage. As the roasting proceeded, the infrared roasted coffee beans contained these acids in a smaller amount!
  • Not surprisingly, the content of aroma compounds were found to be 25% more than that of conventional roasting, and when tested was found to carry the same standard to the cup. The taste from the extract of hot air roasted coffee beans was similar to most conventional roastings, while the extract of the infrared roasted coffee beans was different from them (i.e., weaker acidity) leading to a better coffee without a bitter taste.


One of the reasons Toomer’s Coffee is a regional favorite we owe to our consistent quality of finely (infrared) roasted coffees!

Infrared roasting is the superior method to roast coffee.  End of discussion.

Our Diedrich Infrared roaster heats the coffee faster, more uniformly and at relatively lower temperature than conventional hot air/flame roasters.

The result is a low-acid, pleasant cup that is consistent bag to bag year after year.

Try us!  You’ll taste the difference right away!

Sandy Toomer
Roast Master


Sources: Ineedcoffee.com*, Asic-Coffee.org, Diedrich Manufacturing, & my seven years experience!