Hotel Suppliers reporter interviews Independence Coffee to find out more about their women-owned, fair trade and eco-friendly coffee for hotels.
Can you tell us more about the founding of Independence Coffee and what inspired you to focus on eco-friendly and fair trade coffee roasting?
Our journey into sustainable packaging started in 2014. We wanted to step into the world of “single serve” coffee. As we started that journey we realized the ramifications that were taking place with the waste from these cups. The waste from single serve rigid cups is estimated to circle our earth 13+ times each year! After realizing this, we decided we would attempt to offer a single serve that was environmentally friendly. We branded our single serve as the “Indie Shot”. Since 2014 Independence Coffee has put close to 10,000,000 single serve “Indie Shots” into the cups of people in their homes and offices. We are proud of our effort to offer a more environmentally friendly option.
What sets Independence Coffee apart from other coffee roasters in terms of your sourcing and roasting processes?
One of the things we take great pride in at Independence Coffee is that we source current year crops and source the top 8% of those crops. There are coffee roasters that do not go the extra mile to spend more on this same quality of coffee. All of the coffee you drink from Independence Coffee is 100% Arabica and brings you the highest quality with each sip.
How do you ensure the consistency of your coffee roasts, and why is this important to your brand?
At Independence Coffee consistency is extremely important. Customers expect to enjoy a particular variety again and again. This is what creates brand loyalty. Ragan Bond, our President and Co-Founder, was our original roaster. Ragan eventually trained Greg and Scotty, and Scotty has now trained Nate and Ray. Consistency is key.
Freshness is a key aspect of your brand. Could you elaborate on your approach to ensuring that your coffee reaches consumers as fresh as possible?
There are many reasons customers choose a coffee as their “favorite”. It may start with taste and go on to include company values and sourcing or diversity and sustainability. Freshness is usually one of the characteristics customers are looking for. The coffee consumers today have become more sophisticated and know what they want and freshness is important. At Independence we do not warehouse our coffee for months on end. We roast daily Monday-Friday and ship out freshly roasted products.
Being a smaller, woman-owned roastery, what advantages do you see in terms of connecting with coffee enthusiasts and maintaining high-quality standards?
We spend a great deal of time stepping out of our roastery and stepping into spaces where we can share our story. When possible Ragan and I are the ones doing tastings and demos. Being certified as Woman Owned has opened many doors for us, but our story and quality products, along with some of our sustainable packaging has also been very beneficial.
Your roasting facility is located in Brenham, Texas. Could you share the importance of this location in your coffee production process?
As we based our manufacturing facility in Brenham, Texas, we were somewhat strategic. Brenham is centrally located between Houston and Austin, two major cities in the state. Brenham is also easily accessible to Dallas and San Antonio, two other major cities in the state. We ship all over the country but we are close to a port which also allows easy access to green bean transportation and receiving equipment. Strategically speaking, it’s a very good location.
How does the “Savor Your Independence” motto reflect the core philosophy and values of Independence Coffee?
“Savor Your Independence” serves a few purposes. Savor, meaning enjoy. Enjoy Independence Coffee, savor the taste, so to speak. Independence, our brand, but also you, the consumer, your choice to “choose”, with “Independence”, the coffee you enjoy drinking. Those three words say a lot… “Savor Your Independence”.