It all started with a converted popcorn maker, an old woodstove, and a healthy dose of youthful optimism.
Old School SSC
Inspired by years of exploring the coffee culture in the Pacific Northwest US, Mickey McLeod and Robbyn Scott began experimenting with roasting coffee in a converted popcorn maker and roasting it up on their old wood stove.
They discovered that not only were they pretty good at it, but that they loved doing it!
With the support of Mickey’s brother Ross, they opened their first roasting cafe on Salt Spring Island, BC in 1996. It was a huge success! After three days of crushing line-ups they had to close for almost a week just to regroup and catch their breath.
Between coffee roasting, serving customers, and mopping the floors, they rarely got more than a few hours of sleep in those early days.
In the early days of specialty coffee people often asked ‘why organic?’
From their own experience living on a farm and growing produce to sell at the farmers market, Mickey and Robbyn knew that organic agriculture was much safer and more stable for the soil, the people, the animals and the future of the environment.
One Step Further
Taking a chance, they went one step further and committed to only sourcing coffee that was both organic and embraced fair trade values.
This helped to ensure sustainable and healthy living conditions for coffee farmers. It also ensured fair pay and economic growth for these communities.
This was the early stages of what has now become our Fair to Farmer program.
Salt Spring Coffee has grown a lot since the early days of 1996. We were born and grew up on idyllic Salt Spring Island - a beautiful Gulf Island on the West Coast of BC.
Today, our roasting and packaging facility and head office is located in Richmond, BC. From this central location, we roast our coffee to supply grocery stores, cafes, restaurants and office coffee partners across Canada.
As we continue to grow, we are committed to a quadruple bottom line; people, planet, profit and purpose. A Certified B Corp since 2010 and named Best for the World for three consecutive years, our goal is to support the people and natural systems that sustain us to thrive along our entire supply chain.
After two decades in the coffee industry, we continue to create great coffee that doesn’t compromise the earth.
We are Fair to Farmers
Being fair to farmers is the heart of Salt Spring Coffee.
Coffee farmers face many challenges; weather, climate change and shortage of labour to name a few.
Perhaps the biggest challenge they face is the lack of knowledge about how to process high-quality coffee.
Since 2001 we have been supporting coffee producers and their communities to improve their quality of life and equipment which increases coffee quality.