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Small Business Profile: Portland Roasting Coffee

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Photo credit: Chris Franklin

Ethical – a term that cripples the typical American business structure in the industrial age is now a corner stone for how the new generation of entrepreneurs does business. We are entering an age in which conscious business practices are finding their niche in our society. A new structure that believes in the ethical treatment of their workers and sustainable practices ensuring the health of our environment while continuing a profitable practice that makes this a viable form of doing business. Portland Roasting Coffee is tackling several of these front lines and doing it in great form, producing some of the finest coffee available.

Photo credit: Chris Franklin

Opening their doors in 1996, Portland Roasting Coffee is not a new player in the game. In fact they have forged new practices in the harvesting, roasting and distribution of their coffee that now sets a precedent for their younger counterparts. It all starts with the bean; coffee beans grow along a narrow belt of the equator passing over some of the most disenfranchised, poorest regions of the world. With this understanding, Mark Stell (M\managing partner of Portland Roasting Coffee) has helped to develop several initiatives and partnerships to improve the living conditions in the regions they source from. Their stewardship includes practices that raise awareness to inhumane living conditions in sub Saharan African communities while also participating very actively to provide clean water, improve education and improve sanitary conditions in much needed areas.

These philanthropic endeavors are sustained by their scrupulous efforts to roast the best coffee that can be produced. The raw coffee bean is fairly innocuous in flavor but contains great potential for its robust characteristics that are expressed through the roasting process. The roaster determines the ideal coffee profile for each batch allowing the bean to showcase its natural characteristics from light floral and fruit notes to fuller-body earthy qualities.

It doesn’t stop there; Portland Roasting Coffee is committed to reducing their carbon emissions and global impact by focusing on the sustainability aspects in all their business and distribution practices. Local bike delivery service B-Line helps to reduce fuel costs in distribution while composting organic waste shrinks their contributions to local landfills. Portland Roasting coffee has been a carbon neutral company since 2007 and actively seeks out opportunities to improve their status with thorough audits.

Relentless efforts to improve community here and abroad is what sets Portland Roasting Coffee apart. Their mission sets out to improve the circumstance of all who participate in their network, including you, the consumer. So do your part and enjoy one of the many blends Portland Roasting Coffee provides in their cupping room located in SE Portland or pick up a bag at your local grocery store and share their carefully produced products with your friends.

Wanderer by nature, explorer by trade. Chris Franklin is attracted to the unique and overlooked. His ambition is to showcase what may lay off the beaten path. A love of small business and creative craft guide his path as he continues to discover Portland, Oregon. Follow his journey at LostNPortland.com.


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