Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Our Story

We started with the mission of bringing sustainable coffee to our island community

Founded on Salt Spring Island

In 1996, founders Mickey McLeod and Robbyn Scott opened a coffee roasting café on Salt Spring Island with the mission of bringing sustainable coffee to their island community. Salt Spring Coffee was born, and the freshly roasted coffee quickly became an island favourite, sparking conversations with customers about coffee quality and sourcing.

In their quest for coffee that was environmentally friendly and fair to farmers, Mickey and Robbyn made several origin trips to Central America and Indonesia, visiting coffee farming communities in Costa Rica, Peru, Nicaragua, Sumatra and Uganda. Together, they built long-term, direct trade partnerships with coffee producers, who not only shared their hospitality but also shared their generational expertise in organic coffee production and regenerative agricultural practices.

As a result, Salt Spring Coffee became one of the first 10 companies in Canada to be Fair Trade Certified. Since committing to fair trade, Salt Spring Coffee has contributed millions in fair trade premiums, which are additional funds paid directly to coffee farmers who decide on how to reinvest the money within their communities.


Growth began organically. In the 90’s, it was common for coffee traders to sell coffee based on quality score with little connection to the farmers who produced it. However, Salt Spring Coffee’s direct trade partnerships contributed to a richer understanding of both green bean quality and coffee production. The result was an exceptional cup of coffee with a relationship to coffee farmers that resonated with consumers, and the demand for Salt Spring Coffee’s organic, fair trade coffee grew.

A year after the café opened, Salt Spring Coffee became among the first certified organic coffees in Western Canada to be sold in grocery stores.

Overcoming challenges

The café on Salt Spring Island quickly outgrew its coffee roasting capacity. The 7.5 kilogram coffee roaster was upgraded to a 30 kilogram roaster, but it wasn’t enough to keep up with demand. Mickey and Robbyn drew up plans to build a coffee roasting and education facility on Salt Spring Island, but after several months of planning, the zoning application was denied. A new space was found on the mainland, and in 2010, Salt Spring Coffee expanded roasting operations to Richmond, BC.

New operations meant expanding the family run business and growing the team. Salt Spring Coffee’s commitment to making a positive social and environmental impact was just as important to internal operations as it was to the coffee supply chain, and in 2010, Salt Spring Coffee became B Corp Certified.

Our journey to regenerative organic

With a growing company, it was more important than ever to Mickey and Robbyn to go, beyond sustainable, to regenerative agricultural and social practices. In 2024, the Salt Spring Coffee team worked together with the Regenerative Organic Alliance, ROA, and coffee producers to launch Canada’s first Regenerative Organic Certified® coffee.

Regenerative organic certification sets the highest standard in the world for soil health, ecosystem preservation, and farmworker fairness. For a farm or product to be Regenerative Organic Certified®, it must first meet USDA organic requirements. From there, additional rigorous standards must be met including sustainable agricultural practices, animal welfare protections, and social responsibilities including supporting the wellbeing and livelihoods of farmers and workers. 

Regenerative organic certification provides a holistic framework that ensures communities and ecosystems flourish throughout the coffee supply chain, from crop to cup. At Salt Spring Coffee, it’s another step forward in their mission to change the world for the better.

Through the years

Founded on Salt Spring Island


Mickey McLeod and Robbyn Scott open Salt Spring Coffee on Salt Spring Island, BC. It's the first organic, fair trade café on the island, and customers are able to see the coffee being roasted.

Mission & Growth


In 1996, Salt Spring Coffee is among the first organic coffees to hit grocery stores in Western Canada.

In 1997, Salt Spring Coffee becomes one of the first 10 companies in Canada to be certified Fair Trade by Fair Trade Canda. In 2001, Salt Spring Coffee also becomes Canadian Certified Organic.

Direct Trade Partnerships


In 2001, Mickey and Robbyn set out to Costa Rica to meet with coffee farmers and establish the first of many direct trade partnerships.

In 2004, Salt Spring Coffee receives some of the first organic, fair trade coffee beans to come from Pangoa Cooperative in Peru.

In 2007, while on an exploratory trip to Nicaragua, Mickey and Robbyn meet Byron Corrales, sparking the start of a long-term partnership with him.

In 2010, after visiting Indonesia to establish direct trade partnerships, Sumatra becomes one of Salt Spring Coffee’s best-selling coffees.

Giving Back

Early 2010s

In 2011, Mickey delivers wood chippers to cooperative farms in Nicaragua to support their organic and composting program.

In 2011, Salt Spring Coffee donates $2,000 to the women of Soppexcca Cooperative to open a small store, making food and necessities more accessible.

In 2012, the Fair to Farmer program is created to outline Salt Spring Coffee’s ongoing commitment building relationships with coffee farmers that enable their communities to flourish.

Giving Back

Late 2010s

In 2014, Mickey works with Byron Corrales in Nicaragua to fund and install biodigesters that compost farm materials to reduce waste and create green electricity to power farmers’ homes.

In 2015, Salt Spring Coffee donates $10,000 to Bukonzo Joint Cooperative Union to build a cupping lab so local coffee growers have the tools they need to continue improving coffee quality.

Regenerative Organics


In 2024, Salt Spring Coffee's began roasting Canada's first Regenerative Organic Certified® coffee, setting the highest standard in the world for soil health, ecosystem preservation, and farmworker fairness.

Our journey to regenerative organics

On behalf of Mickey & Robbyn

Thank you

Thanks so much for enjoying our coffee over the years! Your support means a lot to us and enables us to continue our mission for generations to come.