Stumptown Coffee Roasters
Stumptown Coffee Roasters is a coffee roaster and retailer based in Portland, Oregon, United States. The chain's flagship cafe and roastery on SE 45th and Division opened in 1999. Three other cafes, a roastery and a tasting annex have since opened in Portland as well as two locations in Seattle, two in New York and one in Los Angeles. In August 2012, the company moved its headquarters to a building in Portland's Central Eastside Industrial District.
The business practices and quality standards of Stumptown Coffee Roasters have led to them being recognized as having "revolutionized the coffee business" and helped "refine coffee drinkers' palates" in Portland. Founder Duane Sorenson and Stumptown Coffee Roasters have been credited as being part of the third wave of coffee movement.
Sorenson, and his employees, in pursuit of the best quality coffee spends considerable time visiting farms in person and is willing to pay high prices for coffee he deems worthy—occasionally three or four times the fair trade price. He once set the record for highest price ever paid for coffee beans. Sorenson is known for forming lasting relationships with coffee producers.
The owner has offered atypical perks to his employees such as paying for a compilation album to be produced of their various bands, and hiring a full-time on-staff massage therapist. They have received numerous awards, including Roaster of the Year 2006.
In 2011 Stumptown took on a large investment from private equity fund TSG Consumer Partners in New York, including re-registering the business under TSG in the state of Oregon. Due to tax reasons Stumptown is now fiscally based in Delaware. This led many to declare that Stumptown had sold out, despite confirmation that Sorenson was technically still running the company. As of February 2013, Joth Ricci of Jones Soda Co. is now the acting president.
Stumptown operates four cafes in Portland. Stumptown has cafes on SE 45th & Division St., SE 34th & Belmont, downtown at SW 3rd & Ash St., and inside the Ace Hotel at 1022 SW Stark St. There is a roasting facility and a retail annex inside their headquarters at 100 SE Salmon St. The original location on SE Division was previously a hair salon called "The Hair Bender," whose name Stumptown adopted for one of their signature espresso blends. The annex used the Clover 1s brewing machine to brew its coffee, but discontinued its use when the Coffee Equipment Company, the owner of the Clover 1s, was acquired by Starbucks.
In September 2009, Stumptown opened a cafe in New York's Ace Hotel. A temporary "pop-up" location appeared in Amsterdam's De Pijp neighborhood in May 2010. Opened by Sorenson, he claimed it was never intended to be permanent and closed its doors that same year.
In September 2013, Stumptown opened a cafe/roaster in Los Angeles, California at 806 S Santa Fe.
"Bikes to Rwanda" Project
In 2006 after a business trip to Rwanda to visit coffee growers' cooperatives, Sorenson founded a non-profit organization whose mission was to provide cargo bicycles for the cooperative coffee growers. In addition, bike shops for the maintenance and repair of the bikes were to be established in Rwanda. To date, five are in operation. Bikes to Rwanda is headquartered in Portland, Oregon and has acquired numerous partner organizations.
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