The Oslo-based high-end green coffee importer and seller Nordic Approach has partnered with the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based shared roasting facility The Pulley Collective to being shipping NA-sourced green coffees directly from origin to the United States. While the bulk of NA’s shipment will be warehoused by Continental in New York, limited volumes of select coffees will also be stored on site at the Pulley Collective’s Red Hook facility, as well as a new Pulley facility opening soon in West Oakland, Calif.
Nordic Approach will eventually use Cropster Hub as their means of publicly listing their US offerings of coffees from East Africa, South and Central America. Cuppings will be held at the Pulley Collective, where samples will be available and amounts as small one or two bags can be purchased by tight-budgeted startup microroasters. Pulley Collective will serve to assist roasters in the logistics of receiving larger shipments from the Continental storage, or shipped from NA’s holdings in the U.K. or directly from origin, as the case may be.
Pulley Collective founder and CEO Steve Mierisch told Daily Coffee News that this is the exciting first step in what he plans on expanding into an innovative and wide-reaching green coffee resource for members of the Pulley Collective and their surrounding communities. “I hope to have other people that are doing a great job either growing or sourcing fall under this model,” said Mierisch, adding the specifics of the model are still a work in progress.
One possibility is to expand the business concept of the Pulley Collective to include a type of membership specifically for farmers or brokers to participate in this method of providing smaller roasters with accessible volumes. But for now, the first step is bringing the Nordic Approach selection on board, opening that up to local buyers and taking it from there. In a recent joint press release, Nordic Approach cofounder Morten Wennersgaard announced that the first direct shipments from Ethiopia and Kenya are due to arrive in the US by the end of next month.
“Where I see the benefit is making great coffee very accessible to not only the membership base, but also the local roasting community,” said Mierisch, noting that while there might not be much short-term financial gain resulting from the relationship, it may help grow Pulley’s status as a local resource. “It makes it more attractive to roast here.”
Additionally exciting is that Mierisch’s “here” will soon also include a brand new West Oakland Pulley Collective roasting facility. Mierisch reported that contractors are presently finishing work on the conveniently located space not far from the Oakland landing of the San Francisco Bay Bridge. Within the next week or two, a new 35-kilo Loring as well as Pulley Brooklyn’s original Diedrich IR12 will be installed and tested, after which point the facility will undergo the inspection and permitting process.
While the layout, workflow and general vibe of the new Pulley will be subject to the structural amenities of the building and the spirit of the scene to which it caters, Mierisch intends for the equipment and services provided to mirror those available to members in New York. This will eventually include a Probat UG22, weigh-and-fill equipment, heat-sealers and other production tools.
Mierisch has already received a few verbal commitments from prospective Bay Area clients. Beyond that he intends to take it slow and let the reputation spread through word of mouth, much the same as it did when Pulley was founded three years ago in New York. “I’m not going to aggressively go after membership,” said Mierisch, who will live full time in Oakland for two months this summer guiding the new facility onto its feet. “Whenever you’re getting something started, you never know what obstacles you’re going to hit, so I’d rather have a smaller membership base at the beginning.”
Nordic Approach coffees will be available for roasters to sample at Pulley in Brooklyn this spring, if not also in West Oakland. The Pulley Collective and Nordic Approach are also co-hosting a cupping at the SCAA Expo in Atlanta. The cupping starts at 11 a.m. EST at the Loring Smart Roast booth, #859, on Saturday, April 16.