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Scout Story

I had been roasting coffee on a hot air popcorn popper for 2 years when I reunited with my friend Justin Collins. Justin had purchased a 5 burner gas barbecue grill and converted it into a coffee roaster. It makes perfect sense when you think about it…to roast coffee you need a heat source, airflow, and a drum that will tumble the beans while they are roasting. Justin had modified the grill so that he could put a stainless steel drum on a high powered motor that mounted to the grill. On my popcorn popper, I was roasting ⅓ cup of green coffee per batch. Justin was roasting 8 pound batches! At that time, I don’t even think I knew what a “real” coffee roaster looked like. All I knew is that I had to start roasting with Justin. 

I roasted coffee on the BBQ grill with Justin for several months. During that time we went to a public market together and sold coffee to very excited customers. Everyone was so happy to have fresh roasted coffee available to them. We sold out of all of the coffee that we brought to the market. I was stoked to be doing something that I loved and our customers were stoked to have amazing coffee available to them. It was a huge moment for me personally and I just knew that this was the “thing” that I had been searching for. You should know that I was doing satellite dish installations at this time. I was thankful to have a job, but my time of crawling through tight spaces with Black Widows and traipsing through insanely hot attic spaces in the middle of Redding’s famously hot summers was quickly expiring. 

The day after doing the public market event, I saw life differently. I knew that we could get our coffee into a few places around town and the wheels started turning. My business mind engaged and I was inspired to figure out how to turn my passion for roasting coffee into a business that would benefit the community and my family.

Shortly after my epiphany, Justin decided that he was going to move his family across the country back to his home state of New York. He asked my wife Bekah and I if we wanted to buy the roaster and his green coffee inventory. We knew what our answer was. Emphatically, we said yes to the offer and then had to figure out how we would pay for the new business enterprise. So, we looked at our beloved International Scout and decided that selling the Scout to pay for the business was what we had to do. We loved this vehicle so much. It was iconic and in really beautiful condition. We posted the Scout on Craigslist and it sold instantly for nearly double what we paid for it. We named our first business Scout Coffee as a tribute for the sacrificial Scout that we sold to fund the business. 

This was just the beginning! Scout Coffee was the foundation for Theory Coffee Roasters. We wanted to pay a tribute to the International Scout that gave us our start in the coffee biz. Thank you for being a part of our story. Thank you for supporting local coffee and keeping the story alive! We couldn’t do this without you. From my family to you and yours, we sincerely appreciate your emphatic support along the way.

Cheers to many more years of award winning coffees, and cheers to the Scout that built Theory!


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