Portland, Ore.’s Kobos Coffee is celebrating its remarkable 40th anniversary today. One of the pioneers of micro roasting in Portland and throughout the United States, the company was one of the first to offer an alternative to the mass produced beans that essentially monopolized the coffee market of 40 years ago.
“We weren’t setting out to be a trailblazer,” says Dave Kobos, who still runs the company, along with his wife Susan and head roaster/co-owner Brian Dibble. “We just wanted introduce Portland coffee drinkers to a level of coffee they had never experienced before.”
Kobos is recognized as one of the first roasteries in Portland to strive for fair trade relationships with its suppliers, and it was the first Portland roastery to offer certified organic coffees processed in certified organic facilities. Kobos currently is available at regional grocery stores including Green Zebra, Roth’s Fresh Market and Market of Choice, while maintaining hundreds of wholesale and vendor accounts for cafes, as well as larger groups, including Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Legacy Health System and Sysco Food Services. The company’s private label operation includes clients such as Equal Exchange (West Coast)
DCN and Roast Magazine’s Connie Blumhardt and Kelsey Mutter recently attended Kobos’ anniversary shindig, where the Kobos team showed off the roastery and generally partied like it’s 1973.