What is your roastery’s story/ where did it all begin?
We, Norman and Lee, started the venture 12 years ago, with a plan to create a place that brings people together over great coffee and to bring positive change to Fairtrade cooperatives around the world.
We saw that Fairtrade certification was the alternative business model we were looking for, and we loved the stories behind the communities we were buying from, it was something worth supporting.
We began roasting coffee with a 1 kilo roaster to supply our cafe, but soon demand grew and we upgraded to a gorgeous Toper 5 kilo roaster which sits in the middle of our cafe along with a growing stack of green beans. Johnny joined us at this point, bringing with him years of experience.
At the rate we are growing we will need a warehouse soon, but we are reluctant to leave the high street site, where we get to talk to our customers about the beans and where they are grown, offer tasting sessions and barista training. People love to hear about the initiatives that the different coffee cooperatives support. We now supply other cafes and have an online subscription service sending coffee beans to other states.
Who started the business/roastery?
Norman and Lee Palumbo
Who is the head roaster?
Any others on your team we need to credit?
What makes you unique?
We only roast certified Fairtrade organic coffee beans, arabica specialty grade. We do this because we are passionate about fair work practices, ensuring we are not exploiting workers in other countries. We are also passionate about the environment so organic, pesticide free coffee beans, shade grown in small farms was the way to go for us.
What is your roastery’s ethos?
Our ethos is to bring change to communities through ethical trading practices. Coffee is one of the most highly traded commodities in the world, and in great demand. This leaves it vulnerable to exploitation. Fairtrade ends that, and the additional funds we send through to the communities every year help bring real change and self-determination.
Where is your roastery heading/ plans for the future?
One of our plans for the future is to develop a series of coffee blends that support local artists. Our first blend, Charlie, was launched on 1st July.
Why are you passionate about the coffee industry?
Because coffee brings people together. But it can do more than that. Coffee can bring real change to developing countries if we trade fairly with them, moving away from the old colonial exploitative model to a new collaborative way forward, where everyone benefits.
This week on the Beanhunter Coffee Club you will be drinking…
We are sending our beloved PNG bean to you, easily our favourite, and our go-to in the café. PNG is also our closest neighbour, so we like the idea of looking after the neighbourhood too.
Tasting notes: Medium roast, smooth well rounded chocolate and toffee body, carrying a soft tropical plum and tart raspberry finish.
Social Impact: This bean supports projects such as the building of roads and infrastructure, as well as maintaining local schools in PNG
Any famous last words?
We just love what we do, love supplying great coffee and making a difference to small farms around the world, cheers
We hope you enjoy this week’s cup. The Beanhunter Coffee Club is the best way to discover amazing coffee – join today!