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Baltimore’s Southeastern Roastery Expands with Organic and Bird Friendly Certs

Southeastern Roastery

Southeastern Roastery Operations Director Jessie Schell. All images courtesy of Southeastern Roastery.

Baltimore-based coffee roasting company Southeastern Roastery has exponentially expanded its roastery while achieving USDA Organic and Smithsonian Bird Friendly certifications.

The minority- and woman-owned company plans to use the new certifications to help other coffee companies promote the concepts of regenerative agriculture and ecological health, while also conveying those concepts directly to consumers.

“I’m happy to say that with these certifications, we’re more tangibly and collectively working with our partners to support biodiversity, healthier human-nature coexistence, and work life balance in a way that feels good to us,” Southeastern Roastery Founder Candy Schibli recently told Daily Coffee News.

Southeastern Roastery baltimore

The new Mill City Roasters machine at the expanded and certified Southeastern Roastery.

Schibli founded Southeastern Roastery in 2017 before transitioning to a larger roastery with a vintage Samiac 12-kilo machine in 2020. In January of this year, the Southeastern roastery in Baltimore grew again with the addition of a new 20-kilo machine from Mill City Roasters. The company has shut down its small retail area in order to focus more intently on roasting and packing for direct-to-consumer sales, wholesale clients and white-label clients.

Schibli said a lot of work went into the USDA and Smithsonian organic certification process, although it aligned with the company’s long-running commitment towards promoting “healthy environment and human existence,” including the support of regenerative practices and biodiversity. 

Candy Southeastern roastery organic

Southeastern Roastery Founder Candy Schibli (center) with Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Xochitl Torres Small (far left) and Organic Trade Association Co-CEO Tom Chapman (second from left) and others at a recent natural foods trade show. 

The coffee entrepreneur noted the support of the Organic Trade Association and certification agency QCS through the certification process. Schibli said other roasters considering organic certification should build a network of experienced people to lean on.

“I would suggest to reach out to a roaster, like us, that’s already certified and do as much research as possible on what’s needed prior to getting started with the process,” Schibli said. “This way, it won’t be such a shock or feel like there is deadline pressure.”

The move incidentally makes Southeastern the first Black-woman-owned certified Organic and roastery and co-packer in the nation.

Southeastern coffee

“For us it was like, if we can do it, then let’s,” Schibli said. “We didn’t go into it thinking of placement — it just aligns what we care about. Now that it has happened — woohoo! — it means that we can act as a welcoming, comfortable resource for others that share the same values and goals as we have and desire to be a similar space, which means growth for the coffee industry and the natural product industry that continues to expand in the direction of inclusivity.”

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