Grounded Canadian Pilots Go From Jets To Java

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

Lost Aviator Coffee via Facebook post


A pair of commercial pilots have set their sights on coffee after being furloughed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Longtime friends Adam Wright and Steve Zago flew their last runs in April, repatriating Canadians soon after the pandemic was announced by the World Health Organization, reports GuelphToday. 

In pursuit of a Plan B, Wright and his wife, Erin, took possession of the With the Grain Bakery in Guelph a week after he was furloughed. Poor timing, as it was just when the pandemic hit North America and everything started shutting down.

He and Zago, deciding to be "the masters of our own fate", started bouncing around ideas for a business to run out of a small section of the basement in the bakery.

That's when their sights – or noses -- turned to the aromatic art of coffee roasting.

Lost Aviator Coffee vis Facebook post.

The flight path was set and the pair began sourcing green coffee beans, some from countries they used to fly to as pilots, and the arduous process of experimentation and perfecting the roasting process began.

Since then, they've narrowed the roast selection to five signature brands, each alluding to the golden age of aviation, like the Red Eye to Rome, North Star and Aurora. Even the company name, Lost Aviator Coffee, is a nod to air travel. 

To date, the company has roasted hundreds of pounds of coffee in the small basement space that has been fitted with thousands of dollars worth of equipment to do the work, writes GuelphToday.

Zago said the company is starting small and trying to find a balance so it doesn’t grow too fast, especially if they were to be suddenly recalled to their careers as pilots. 

In this environment, perhaps they should keep their tray tables open to coffee…

Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.



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