Before coffee, I was in wine, and before wine, I was in tech. After almost ten years in tech, I became disillusioned with it. I decided to find something that could contribute to society, which would be a good model for my daughter to look up to and feel motivated to follow her passion for contributing to our community.
In the wine industry, I was surrounded by winemakers who believe in a labor of love more than anything else. Their passion for what they did was invigorating, and it showed me that you could put your energy into something truly meaningful. One day, I was talking with a friend about the similarities of coffee and wine, and how the coffee industry was on the same trajectory as the wine industry, yet behind by several decades.We could see a trend towards consumers expecting a specific coffee from a particular part of the world roasted in a unique way. We also realized cafes needed the ability to meet these expectations while creating an experience that’s representative of their brand, which meant they would need control of sourcing and roasting their own coffee.
So, why weren’t more cafe’s roasting in their stores? We learned that the traditional model for sourcing green coffee and roasting your own coffee on‑site—and the supply chain to support it—was full of barriers and not sustainable. Farmers were not paid fairly for their green coffee crops due to an imbalance in supply and demand. Expensive roasting equipment required space, gas lines, ventilation, smokestacks, building permits, and skilled labor. Archaic roasting technology dumps dirty air into our environment, which harms our planet and communities. Expertise is needed for purchasing green coffee, forecasting, managing inventory, production, and storage. We saw a significant opportunity for positive change.
We set out to disrupt the traditional model of coffee roasting and remove every existing barrier. We started developing new, clean technology that would allow every cafe to roast on‑site with the highest control and consistency possible with the lowest carbon footprint. Cafes would be able to create coffee offerings to elevate their brand and meet their customer’s expectations. If more independent cafes were roasting, the increased demand for green coffee would be decentralized, and farmers would be paid better for their beans. If we did it right, we would create real, meaningful change for the coffee experience from farm to cup.