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A small coffee shop with big heart

Avatar Posted on: 2015-08-24 12:00 AM
Relay Coffee Roasters 

A roaster with a social conscience.

Rachael Hofing, Jason Hofing , Mike De Vres
I recently sat down with Jason Hofing of Relay Coffee Roasters in Hamilton Ontario to talk about how a micro roaster gets started and the conversation took an entirely different turn. When I asked Jason why he decided to quit a secure job to become a micro roaster I was expecting something about having a passion  for coffee. What I got was passion but passion for making a change in the world. You see Jason and his wife Rachel decided to get into the coffee roasting business to make a small difference in the world to the local growers who may or may not be getting a fair shake.

To quote Jason. "I thought it would be a better use of my time and energy to affect some small amount of social justice by ensuring that some of the hard working coffee growers get a fair price for their coffee."

From that moment on Jason took me through his goal of personal discovery and his decision to start roasting coffee as a means to spread his values of fairness, family, and sustainablity to the small coffee growers from whom he gets his coffee. The interview felt more like a sit down in someone's kitchen that it did an interview with a local roaster. The feeling of family values and small town familiarity was evident from the moment I walked in and casually listened to the familiar friendly conversations between the staff and the patrons. 

As for the coffee. Michael DeVries, the manager/barista made me an excellent pour over Cafe Americano using one of the many Fair Trade Organic coffees that are served there. As part of their corporate philosphy only Fair Trade and Organic coffees are sold and served in both of his coffee shops.  

I would highly recommend that if you are in the area or at the Hamiton Market on York Street you should stop by.
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Comment Date: August 25, 2015
fair trade

Fair trade is fine and dandy.... as far as it goes. Having thoroughly researched this certification and process, I find it seriouslyh lacking in some areas: first and most significant, FT do not certify any family farms, ONLY cooperatives. How many small holders, working less than five acres, produce coffee worldside? About 90% of coffee producers fall into this category. Now, extend it to larger family owned farms, many of them existing for generations on the same land, and we find at least 80% of all...

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