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I was so excited to meet Andy Davis of Portland Roasting, that I took the bus to get there. After all, I knew that Roast Magazine’s 2012 Roaster of the Year valued environmental stewardship in virtually every aspect of their operation. From the bicycle racks installed in their facility to encourage employees not to drive to work, to local deliveries made by tricycle, to the compostable products that they distribute, to the aid projects that they support in coffee growing regions all over the world.
Read: Profile Roast Magazine
With so much effort put into responsibility and sustainability in their business practices, how could I not take the bus to get there?
Established in 1996, PRC employs 28 people in the sourcing, roasting, distribution, service, and sales of what Roast Magazine describes as having “led the industry curve with sourcing, sustainability, and humanitarian initiatives.”
Andy took me on a tour of the entire facility so I could see for myself just what steps PRC takes to back up their mission of not only producing award winning coffee, but doing so with as much regard for the sustainability of their partners and practices. I knew I was in good company when I walked into the warehousing and roasting parts of the facility, to the sounds of Turbo Lover by Judas Priest.
Portland Roasting‘s coffee is enjoyed by coffee enthusiasts through a number of channels. While their coffee is shipped predominantly within Oregon, they ship to locations all around the US. Local deliveries are made by tricycle, which brought to mind a funny story that I shared with Andy. Shortly after moving to Portland, I was walking past the Three Degrees Waterfront Bar, located a stone’s throw from where I live and a wholesale customer of PRC. When I saw a PRC tricycle parked out front, I loitered until its driver walked out of Three Degrees. I thought maybe this was like an ice cream cart, but with coffee for adults. The PRC employee let me know that wasn’t the case :(.
Farther deliveries are made by vans that run on biodiesel. Employees are encouraged to find alternative methods to driving for getting to work. Recycling is even found for the burlap bags after they are emptied of their coffee. Sustainability at all steps.
In addition to supplying cafes and restaurants with specialty coffee, coffee lovers can purchase coffee from PRC’s website, and locally from New Seasons and Zupans locations. While the grocery store is the most convenient place to buy coffee, it is not generally the one that shows the right care for coffee’s freshness. To ensure proper handling of their expertly roasted coffee, PRC employs direct-to-store representatives who ensure that the receiving, storage, and presentation of their coffee is in line with PRC standard.
And just as importantly, stay tuned! Andy couldn’t have been more generous with his time, and made sure I left crammed with more coffee knowledge than I was prepared for. Not only did Andy treat me to my first coffee cupping experience, and share his own personal best practices for making good coffee at home. We also spent a considerable amount of time discussing something of great interest to me, PRC’s international aid projects in coffee growing regions. Ventures of true partnership between PRC and their growers.
Truly a responsible company, an environmental steward, and a recognized quality product.