Our story starts with Heather growing up on a small hobby farm in Northern Ontario’s Algoma region. Her hometown is actually a collection of farms, called Dayton by the locals, nestled in the rolling hills on Lake Huron’s North Shore. She left to go to university then returned for a year, before deciding to spread her wings and move west, to Calgary.
Shane spotted Heather one sunny St. Paddy’s afternoon in the line-up for the Ship and Anchor pub. They stood for quite some time before a group of little, curly-headed Irish Dancers wearing traditional peasant dresses, kilts and brats, walked past the line-up and into the pub for a performance.
Shane mustered the courage, turned to Heather and said “Now we know what to wear next year.”
It was the start of a much longer conversation that became our relationship. A few years later, we got married and started a family with the birth of our son Harry.
When we visited Heather’s family, we started to bring coffee. Back then, it was near-impossible to find a truly fresh cup of coffee in Algoma.
Then one day it dawned on us that this little problem presented an opportunity.
Harry’s birth and our birth into parenthood put us on a new life path. As parents, we started to pay more attention to our choices and crave a simpler, more meaningful way of making a living. As consumers, we started to investigate and buy socially and environmentally responsible products. This is when we discovered Fairtrade Certified coffee throughout Alberta and British Columbia. Buying Fair Trade Certified felt right.
We’re big “follow-your-gut” people. And, our guts told us we could start a fresh, fair coffee movement in Northern Ontario. We chose to start on St. Joseph Island, with its island-living mystique, and its vibrant farming and maple syrup communities.
Now we live in a charming, historic St. Joseph Island home and roast coffee in a refurbished maple syrup shack. Sometimes we have meetings by taking a walk down the logging road we call our “boardroom.”
Thanks to customers who enjoy our coffee and share our vision, that dream borne out of a gut feeling is off to a great start. Since we started stocking store shelves in June 2009, our sales have been growing and we’ve expanded our reach throughout the region. We are continually improving our roasting process and adding new coffees. Our retailers tell us they look forward to the aroma of our new deliveries.
We are also thrilled to be a part of the strong local food and progressive community development movement here in Northern Ontario. We aim to be an active supporter through our coffee donations, fundraising program, and by fuelling ideas and connections throughout Algoma via our community involvement.
Thank you! We look forward to many years of roasting the guaranteed fresh, fair coffee you’ve come to love.