The specialty coffee world lost one if its great ambassadors on Saturday, April 14, with the passing of William “Bill” Swoope after a battle with illness. He was 54.
With his father Bill Sr. — the two were often referred to as “The Bills” — Swoope was the co-founder of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-area coffee roasting and retail staple Coffee Tree Roasters.
Here we share a remembrance from Swoope’s good friends at Hacienda La Minita:
In an industry full of characters, Bill stood among us as the embodiment of all the qualities that make us great — creativity, drive, passion for quality, and love of family and friends. He was eager to participate and ask questions, and enthusiastic to work towards what the next big thing in coffee would be. Bill never expected anything for free, including advice, and was always willing to be the first to share: knowledge, recommendations, sales data, you name it.
Bill was a staple on the early juries for Cup of Excellence and became a dedicated long-time volunteer on the Alliance for Coffee Excellence Board. He loved the opportunities for origin travel, especially first-time visits to new producing countries. Bill enjoyed adding to his knowledge of coffee growing and processing and made sharing that knowledge and excitement with his staff and customers an important part of his retail success.
Bill is survived by his wife Jean, daughter Sofia, son Will, parents Bill Sr. and Carol, and brother, Tim. Bill’s true passions in life were his wife and children, his family, his many friends, and great coffee. He was a rare, kind soul who was loved by many, and will be missed by all who crossed his path.