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20 things you didn’t know about Salt Spring Coffee

• By lisapratt • Coffee, Sustainability, Truly West Coast

Whether you’re a long-time fan or you’re just discovering our coffee for the very first time, here are 20 things you probably didn’t know about Salt Spring Coffee.


  1. Before we were Salt Spring Coffee, we were Salt Spring Roasting Co. Back in the day, our co-founders Mickey McLeod and Robbyn Scott roasted organic beans with a converted popcorn popper and brewed coffee on an old wood stove on Salt Spring Island.
  2. We have two cafés—one in Ganges on Salt Spring Island (that was the first), and one at the Tsawwassen ferry terminal.
  3. We roast more than 3,500 pounds!—of coffee per day to supply more than 1,200 cafés, restaurants, wholesalers, grocers and specialty food stores.
  4. We roast our coffee in Richmond. In 2010, Salt Spring Coffee relocated from Salt Spring Island to a 5,500 square metre facility in Richmond—we call it the Viking Roastery—to meet growing demand for our coffee.
  5. We have eight classic coffees, including five blends and three single origins.

    Cupping at Salt Spring Coffee's Viking roastery

  6. Our Blue Heron is our best-selling coffee, followed by our Sumatra and Village Trade blends.
  7. We have a West Coast blend that’s available exclusively at Costco.
  8. We also roast limited-edition, small-batch coffees like Byron’s Maracaturra, which will be available at our cafes and in our online shop in the fall.
  9. We have a coffee club. Every two weeks, members receive a different kind of Salt Spring Coffee in the mail to try at home.
  10. 100% of our coffee is organic. All coffee purchased by Salt Spring Coffee is certified organic by the Pacific Agricultural Certification Society (PACS).
  11. 100% of our coffee is purchased from small-scale suppliers. We work with 12 coffee coffee-growing cooperatives that represent more than 26,000 small-scale farmers and workers around the world as part of our Fair to Farmer program.
  12. We believe in direct trade. In 2001, our co-founders Mickey and Robbyn travelled to Costa Rica to meet with the farmers who were growing our coffee. This first origin trip was the beginning of Salt Spring Coffee’s direct trade program.
  13. We believe in fair trade. In 2012, Salt Spring Coffee started using the Institute for Marketecology’s rigorous Fair for Life certification, which ensures that human rights are guaranteed at every stage of production, that workers enjoy good and equitable working conditions, and that smallholder farmers receive a fair share. In 2014, IMO recertified us at the highest Fair for Life level.
  14. We are carbon neutral. In 2007, Salt Spring Coffee became the first carbon-neutral coffee company in Canada. And, in 2010, we worked with carbon credits supplier Offsets to determine the carbon footprint of a cup of coffee from producer to consumer.
  15. Solar panels in Nicaragua

    Salt Spring Coffee worked with EOS International to provide affordable solar energy to farms in Nicaragua.

    We donate 1% of our annual revenues to environmental organizations. In 2012, Salt Spring Coffee became the first Canadian coffee company to join 1% for the Planet, a global movement of companies that supports projects and organizations working toward a truly sustainable planet.

  16. We have donated over $300,000 to deserving non-profits since 2012.
  17. We are a B Corp. In 2012, Salt Spring Coffee was recognized in B Lab’s first “Best for the World” list for the effectiveness of our sustainability programs and our commitment to the environment.
  18. We are a local climate leader. In 2010, the City of Vancouver named Salt Spring Coffee one of the city’s Top 10 Corporate Climate Leaders.
  19. We send just 9% of material to landfills or incinerators. In 2012, we teamed up with LOCO BC on a program called Zero Hero to help businesses reduce waste. Our goal? To reduce carbon emission from the average 56% to less than 25%. We just went a little further.
  20. We share our birthday month with the Earth! Three days after Earth Day, on April 25, Salt Spring Coffee is turning 20. See how we celebrated our 20th anniversary.


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