Bridge City Coffee and Verve Coffee Roasters have won Roast magazine’s 20th annual Roaster of the Year award. The two coffee roasting companies will be featured in the trade publication’s November/December 2023 issue.
Roast awards the top honors in two categories: Micro Roaster of the Year, for companies roasting fewer than 100,000 pounds of coffee each year; and Macro Roaster of the Year, for companies roasting more than 100,000 pounds annually. The award recognizes companies that roast coffees of superior quality, exemplify a dedication to sustainability, promote employee and community education, and demonstrate a strong commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity, among other criteria.
In addition to Bridge City Coffee, finalists for the Micro Roaster category were Dear Green Coffee Roasters and Three Keys Coffee. Along with Verve Coffee Roasters, finalists for the Macro Roaster category were Nossa Familia Coffee and Groundwork Coffee. Congratulations to all of the finalists for making incredible commitments to the industry, employees, partners across the value stream, and within local neighborhoods.
2024 Micro Roaster of the Year: Bridge City Coffee
Bridge City Coffee was founded in 2017 by owner Gregory Ward. With 42 full-time and part-time employees, the company has a roasting facility and three retail cafes in the Greenville, South Carolina, area, as well as roasting operations in Waco, Texas. Between the two locations, Bridge City roasted over 32,000 pounds of coffee in the past year.
Providing on-the-job training to give its team the necessary coffee knowledge and barista skills that will make them successful, Bridge City also cultivates a healthy workplace by instilling a sense of ownership in the coffee craft. According to its Roaster of the Year application, Bridge City has a vision to “enrich our communities by helping people discover the best of who they are and what they can become through a deeper understanding of their innate worth.” The company partners with local nonprofit mentorship programs in the cities they operate in, and also hires applicants who are not connected to a partner nonprofit but lack work experience or come from difficult circumstances, and intentionally mentors those employees.
2024 Macro Roaster of the Year: Verve Coffee Roasters
Verve Coffee Roasters was founded in 2007 by Colby Barr and Ryan O’Donovan in Santa Cruz, California. With over 260 full-time and part-time employees, the company operates roasting facilities and 19 retail locations, across Northern California, Los Angeles, and Tokyo, Japan. Verve has roasted 1.5 million pounds of coffee in the past year.
The company, according to its Roaster of the Year application, “actively participates in the entire supply chain to ensure the highest standards of ethics and excellence.” Committed to innovation and pushing the boundaries of convention, Verve invests in individual producers across the globe—paying a premium that supports a thriving partnership, and seeking out community-centric cooperatives and women-owned farms whenever possible. Across the coffee value stream, Verve is “always looking for ways to uplight our producers, customers, and employees.” Additionally, Verve is determined to minimize its ecological footprint through responsible practices like waste reduction, solar powered roasting, and regenerative agriculture.
Roast is a bi-monthly technical trade journal dedicated to the success and growth of the specialty coffee industry. Roast addresses the art, science and business of coffee roasters by covering the issues most important to them, with quality editorial content focused on the technical aspects of coffee. For more information, visit roastmagazine.com.