The dream of starting my own coffee roastery started as a college student when Don Cox (owner of Bald Guy Brew in North Carolina), brought my business class at Appalachian State University to Costa Rica to learn about the Supply Chain of coffee. The trip opened my eyes to the magic of coffee and the importance of good, equitable relationships in the business.
Fast forward a few years, I moved up to NYC and have been lucky enough to work a variety of jobs in the tech world. Throughout this time, I never lost sight of the dream and have never stopped learning. Between two previous jobs in tech, I worked as a barista for a year to study the cup and learn how to make espresso. More recently, I've become a student of the roasting craft, and have been fortunate enough to learn from Howard and Jeff at Shared Roasting in NYC. The amalgamation of this education led me to where I am now, cue: Bassett Hill.
Bassett Hill is a hill (obviously) in the woods of Wilmington, Vermont where my girlfriend Chloe and I spent a lot of time over the course of 2020. It was in Vermont that I laid out the vision for how I wanted to operate the roastery. When it came down to it, there were four main pillars that I decided I would focus on:
- Contributing to a more equitable supply chain
- Creating a more sustainable environment
- Building genuine friendships and relationships
- Always learning
Contributing to a more equitable supply chain
To roast good coffee, you need good coffee beans. Coffee farmers are the base of the entire industry, yet they have historically been under-paid and have not been able to see any financial benefits to their work. This is because the coffee supply chain is rooted in slavery and has historically been built around immense inequities. For the most part, roasters or companies selling the roasted beans reap all the financial benefits while paying producers less than a living wage. That's obviously something that needs to change, and at Bassett Hill, we're dedicated to making sure that the producers of the coffee we roast are paid well and given the credit they deserve for the love and care that they give coffee plants.
We want you to know where your coffee comes from. We want you to be able to understand the journey your coffee took from seed to cup. And we want you to spend the time you need to 'get to know your coffee'.
Creating a more sustainable environment
Just like any product that is mass-produced, coffee is a contributor to environmental degradation and climate change. We have a long way to go in terms of making it a more sustainable business. We're focused on doing what we can to reduce the impact our coffee has on the environment. We're working on partnering with producers who are making efforts to reduce the impact coffee has on the climate. More to come on what we're doing as a company here!
Building genuine friendships and relationships
Part of the magic of coffee is in the relationships it can create. It's something that brings people together and creates community. We see every relationship we have as a friendship, whether it be with a producer, an importer, or a customer.
We know some, but we have a lot to learn! One thing we do know is that our relationships all have something to teach us. We're dedicated to a lifetime of growth through coffee.