Dharma partner SFMade is an organization dedicated to promoting and supporting San Francisco local manufacturer’s. Our friends at SFMade offered public tours of its member merchants this summer to highlight merchants who manufacture, create or bake products within the city limits. SFMade has over 350 members dedicated to creating job opportunities right here at home. We were surprised to learn how many food and beverage producers were headquartered in San Francisco. One of our favorites was San Francisco based single-source coffee producer Ritual Coffee. With 4 retail locations in the Bay Area and a new roasting facility located in SOMA, Ritual has brought the art of artisan coffee roasting directly to SF coffee connoisseurs and has quickly built an intensely loyal fan base.
“Coffee is a delicious, sweet, complex fruit. Plucked off its tree, it has a range of flavors that reflect its upbringing--cultivar, soil, pruning, and care,” comments Eileen Hassi, Ritual Coffee’s founder. “We work with producers who care for their trees as they would their children, giving them both the love and attention that they need to live up to their full potential. We walk with these producers through their small farms. We sleep on the farm, we breathe the farm, trying as hard as we can to understand how our producers make magic happen in our cups. Our continual mission is to present these coffees to our customers in the same sublime condition that we tasted them, both by serving them seasonally, to preserve their freshness, and by roasting them with the intention of accentuating the intrinsic qualities within.” Eileen Hassi shared her belief that conscious businesses can serve as anchors for communities, both for the employees and the customers. Eileen's goal is to see Ritual Coffee grow organically and in harmony with her community. "I enjoy when regular customers meet, fall in love, marry or bring in their children to the stores."
At right, a few of the Ritual Coffee community of employees: Bryce Navin, production
Kaleena Stoddard, production manager
Eileen Hassi, owner
and Ben Kaminsky, director of Quality Control
Ritual is unique in its commitment to buying coffee direct from coffee producers. Of the 166,000 pounds of coffee Ritual roasted last year, nearly 90% came from producers they work with directly. Buying direct enables Ritual to source the very best coffees while ensuring that the quality-focused producers are rewarded for their hard work. It also means that when you're drinking their coffee, you're only one step away from the producer responsible for this exquisite coffee. Not only does this produce a delicious cup of coffee, but it also produces a fair and direct profit for the farmers growing the coffee beans. Hassi believes that it isnt necessary to give up integrity in exchange for great taste. In fact, operating conciously and buying direct from the source has helped Ritual Coffee build a dedicated following in the Bay Area and beyod. You can help celebrate Fair Trade Month in October by dropping by your local Ritual Coffee location or visiting there website.