Tony’s Coffee opened for business in Bellingham in 1971. From the beginning, they roasted in small batches, selecting the finest beans from growing regions around the world. In the early years, they roasted in their coffeehouse, a street level space in Fairhaven’s historic Terminal Building. They filled glass jars with fresh roasted beans from Antigua to Yirgacheffe. The coffeehouse brought locally-roasted coffee and espresso to Bellingham, becoming one of the cultural staples in the community. Their roasting operation has long since outgrown the coffeehouse, but they have never forgotten their roots.
They are keenly aware of the many hands it takes to prepare a great cup of coffee. They are reminded of this every time they meet with farmers who pour their sweat, investment and creativity into their crops. Alfredo Pacas, a third-generation Salvadoran coffee farmer, and a direct trade partner of theirs, says it best: “When I taste a great cup of coffee, I stop, because I know that it’s miracle.” They travel every year to meet with farmers, collaborate and taste the improvements in cup quality. The relationships they’ve cultivated with farmers and cooperatives ensure that they consistently source great coffees.