Perk Up with Tacoma Boys: A Look at Our Local Coffee Roasters
If you’re local to the PNW, you know and probably love what we do best–coffee! According to a study by Wallethub, Seattle is the “best coffee city in America” in terms of friendliness toward coffee lovers. Translation? Our neck of the woods is a great place to be if you’re craving a quality cup of coffee. Great coffee is part of our culture! And not just the drinking of it, but the roasting as well. We have a plethora of coffee roasters right here in Tacoma and the surrounding area who are truly passionate about every aspect of coffee–the taste, the smell, the bean–all those nerdy things that go into making your morning great.
At Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce, we love to work with local small businesses. And that’s true for coffee as well as the quality produce and specialty items you expect when you walk in our doors. So on our shelves, you’ll find a great selection of coffee from local roasters. You’ll likely recognize some, but perhaps a few will be new to you. Every bag represents a company run by people who are passionate–not just about coffee but about caring for the world we live in and making a difference in the lives of its people. We hope you’ll enjoy this deeper look into the hearts and stories of a few of our favorite local coffee roasters. Take a look!
Local Coffee Roasters: A Closer Look
“We exist to improve the quality of life for coffee farmers, for our staff and for our customers.”
Olympia Coffee company as it is today started in the hearts and minds of two young coffee lovers–Sam Schroeder and Oliver Stormshak. Armed with a passion for innovation and fair trade, they set out to use every available technology to make great coffee. They understood that coffee has the potential to be better than it ever has. This is not just because of better technology, but because of improved communication with and involvement of the coffee growers across the world.
As a result of their commitment to improving the lives of coffee farmers by direct trade, their coffee wins awards. Olympia Coffee has received nationwide accolades for their phenomenal products over and over again. But they don’t let it go to their heads. On their website, they insist their real love “is for creating and sharing extraordinary coffee with [their] community in the Pacific Northwest and with [their] friends throughout the world.”
Olympia Coffee roastery is located in downtown Olympia where it started in 2005. At this location, you can enjoy your cup of coffee while watching the magic happen. Their roasting process is visible through large windows throughout the shop. Or enjoy an equally satisfying cup at any of their other locations–South Olympia, West Olympia, Proctor Tacoma, Columbia City, and West Seattle. You can also order for pick-up from any of these locations. Or pick up a bag of Olympia Coffee from the coffee section in one of our locations and brew at home any time!
Cutter’s Point Coffee Co.
“Cutters Point’s goal is to make a positive difference in the lives of our guests.”
The name “Cutter’s Point” gives a nod to Gig Harbor’s nautical past. It harkens back to the moment explorers Peter Puget and Joseph Whidbey landed their cutters on Point Fosdick in 1792. Now, Cutter’s Point Coffee strives to be a soft place to land for anyone looking for community, friendly faces, and a great cup of coffee.
Their locations are thoughtfully and beautifully designed for conversation, gathering, and staying a while. Founded in 1955 at their flagship location in Gig Harbor, they’ve now expanded into multiple locations throughout the puget sound. Shortly after their beginning, they started their own roastery in Gig Harbor and made their coffee available to all. Stop by Tacoma Boys or H&L Produce and grab a bag of their Discovery Espresso, Fisherman’s Blend, Cutter’s Point Original, or Dark Harbor.
Cutter’s Point has multiple locations in Gig Harbor, Tacoma, and Lacey, one one each in Lakewood, Kent, and all the way in Savannah, GA! Each Location is marked by their trademark cozy feel, so stop in and stay a while.
Poverty Bay Coffee Co.
“We love coffee, the rainforest, and our customers!”
Poverty Bay Coffee Co. is a small-batch micro roaster in Seattle, WA. Over 20 years ago, Dan Olmstead founded the company on principles of sustainability and responsibility–before they became buzzwords–and they’re committed to those ideals now more than ever. In a time when rain forests are be
ing cleared to grow coffee faster to keep up with demand, they use beans grown slowly in the shade of the rain forest. “In the rainforest, not instead of the rain forest,” according to their website.
Poverty Bay also practices sustainability in their roastery and cafes–composting as much material as possible and recycling the rest. The even better news? Coffee beans grown in the shade of the rain forest make richer, more balanced coffee! So when you buy a bag of Poverty Bay Coffee from Tacoma Boys or H&L Produce, you’re supporting the rain forest, the environment, a small business. AND you’re enjoying a superior cup of coffee from a local roaster. (Not to brag, but they made a batch just for us…give their “Tacoma Boy Blend” a try!)
Poverty Bay’s family owned and operated cafe is located in Federal Way. Stop by and enjoy fresh pastries, soups, sandwiches, and of course, freshly brewed coffee.
The Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie (TVICR)
“Our goal is simple… to provide you with legendary coffees of exquisite taste that you can feel good about buying.”
If you’ve ever been to Vashon Island, you’ve likely seen the historic The Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie. Founded by Jim Stewart, lover of specialty coffee and pioneer in fair trade, TVICR is steeped in a long tradition of supporting indigenious people. The company works in partnership with The Vashon Island Coffee Foundation–an organization founded by Jim–to provide support to the coffee farmers in Santiago de Atitlan with whom they trade directly.
The current owner puts it beautifully in this statement from their website: “There is nothing palatable about coffee that arrives in my cup through the destruction of natural habitat, wildlife, or the eradication of Indigenous cultures, traditions or people.” We love this local coffee roaster’s enduring commitment to their values. And we’re thrilled to offer their HeirloomⓉ Coffee for your at-home brewing pleasure.
You can feel the history of the place upon entry. The building itself was made with old growth island fir and is filled with coffee antiques. In addition to this, TVICR roasts their trademark Heirloom Coffee by using the Roasterie’s original vintage roaster in a tradition passed on from Jim to his Master Roaster Peter. He now continues the tradition with two more apprentices. Next time you’re in Vashon Island, visit the Roasterie for yourself and see that sometimes the old ways are the best ways.
Coffee Roasters Making a Difference
These are just a few of the many quality coffee companies with whom we collaborate. We love to see individuals and businesses chasing their passions while also doing whatever is within their power to make the world a better place. These small businesses may be “just” coffee roasters, like we’re “just” a specialty market. But we believe that our efforts, in combination with the efforts of others, really can make a difference in the world. When you partner with us in supporting local businesses like these who responsibly and thoughtfully create a quality product while caring for the earth and all the people in it, you’re making a difference as well. So swing by Tacoma Boys or H&L Produce, grab a bag of coffee from one of these companies, and taste the difference doing the right thing makes.