How do you stand out in a city already known for its abundance of good coffee?
The answer: Uncompromising quality. Started in 2009 by Finnish-born Wille Yli-Luoma and his wife Rebekah, Heart Coffee Roasters’ coffee and cafe quickly became internationally known. Today, approximately 95% of their wholesale business is outside Portland.
At a very early stage, Willie and the Heart team made the decision to focus on quality over quantity. You can’t buy Heart products in grocery stores, and the company is very selective about which cafes carry their products. Rather than expand to maximize profit and exposure, the team has opted to maximize quality control. It was a natural fit when The Society Cafe partnered with Heart to anchor its espresso program last year.
We spent a brisk winter morning at their 11,000 sq ft roasting and training facility in SE Portland and quizzed Director of Wholesale Ryan Cross on what its like to work for the esteemed roaster.
How long have you worked in coffee, and what attracted you to Heart?
I’ve been working in the coffee industry for 18 years. Uncompromising quality, attentin to detail at all levels, structured & positive work environment; all these things attracted me to Heart.
How many pounds of coffee beans are roasted per week, and how long does it take for them to reach a cafe?