Kickstart Your Morning With These Independent Coffee Roasters

According to available information, 3/4 of all Americans start their morning with a cup of coffee. For many of us, this is a simple matter of brewing a cup of Folgers at home or running out to Dunkin’ or Starbucks on our way to work. However, millions of Americans want something more than the ordinary with their morning cup of coffee.

Are you looking to kickstart your morning with amazing roasters from around the country? Check out this list of ten great small businesses that produce unique and special brews that will make you rethink your morning routine. 

Photo Courtesy: iStock/grandriver

BLK & Bold Specialty Roastery (Des Moines, IA)

BLK & Bold offers dozens of coffee and tea flavors and is for sale in several major stores and small businesses. The sheer diversity of their flavors is incredible, and you can order many different types of drinks. For those addicted to a coffee hit, BLK & Bold also offers a coffee subscription service.

BLK & Bold is a black-owned business started by two friends — Pernell & Rod — who both wanted to do something more than create an ordinary business. That’s why they donate 5% of all proceeds to nonprofits nationwide. 

Onyx Coffee Lab (Rogers, AR)

Onyx Coffee Lab is located in a historic building in Rogers, Arkansas. The company boosts retail locations in that spot but can ship a wide array of goods. These products include coffee, tea, and chocolate. A large part of their business is sustainability: Onyx Coffee Lab boasts about their sustainability practices on their website, noting that they use eco-friendly mailers, boxes, bags, and roasting techniques. 

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The services they provide expand the company’s potential use to you. They also manage private events, catering, espresso repair, and even offer food and beverage consulting. This is unique among the businesses on this list. 

La Colombe (Philadelphia, PA)

La Colombe Coffee Roasters has a series of locations throughout Philadelphia, where they are known for being one of the trendiest places in the city. Like other companies here, they offer various goods and subscription services. According to the company’s website, its goal is to “make people happy” and use their business to do good in the world. 

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The company places a significant emphasis on sustainability and fair trade, sourcing its coffee from around the world. This includes locations inside and outside the United States. As such, La Colombe can give you some unique coffee you will find anywhere. 

Dark Matter Coffee (Chicago, IL)

If you want to get coffee with some of the most artistically-designed bags in the world, you have to check out Dark Matter Coffee. Their packaging is bright, colorful, and practically art! In addition, the company offers mobile ordering, coffee subscriptions, and an amazing YouTube channel with more coffee content than you can ask for. 

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As noted on its website, Dark Matter Coffee works directly with farmers worldwide, ensuring they can enrich and protect those farmers. They also regularly give back to non-profits throughout Chicago.

cxffeeblack (Memphis, TN)

Coffee black is apparent on its website: They are a black-owned business, and proud of it. This ownership permeates their branding, merchandise, and marketing. As a result, they sell various unique coffee products that you would be unable to find anywhere else. 

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As noted on the About section of their website, a big part of this company’s mission is to “reclaim the black history of coffee.” This drives not only their marketing and branding but their broader mission. The company is involved in productions that review the history of black people and coffee. They have also gotten press across the nation for their efforts.


Intelligentsia (Chicago, IL)

Intelligentsia refers to its farmers, employees, and customers as “collaborators,” and this approach drives its entire business model. The website is replete with discussions about treating everyone in their business well, from the farmers to the end-users. They also provide a series of unique services as part of that approach. This includes brew guides that discuss how to brew coffee in the best way. If you are local to the Chicago area, you can check out their Home Brew class, which teaches you how to get the most out of your coffee. 

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Oakland Coffee Works (Oakland, CA)

Oakland Coffee Works has one of the unique stories of any business on this list: The company was founded by Green Day. Yes, that Green Day. The philosophy and works of the band permeate their business, which has a punk feel. They offer a massive array of coffee types, merchandise, and more. Furthermore, sustainability is an enormous part of their overall efforts. The company uses the most up-to-date sustainability practices and only engages with fair trade companies.

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Colectivo Coffee (Milwaukee, WI)

Colectivo Coffee has locations throughout Wisconsin and a wide variety of subscription and ordering options. They also have an app with reward points, enabling users to get a great deal on repeat orders. The company started as a very, very small business, owned and operated by three friends who wanted to do some good in the world. Like every other company on this list, the company has an active charitable arm and has repeatedly used its business to give back to its community. 

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Stumptown Coffee Roasters (Portland, OR)

Stumptown Coffee Roasters has multiple locations throughout Portland and offers various services, including subscription and wholesale purchasing. They also provide a massive amount of potential coffee to buy, including regular coffee and cold brew. 

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The company has clearly ingrained itself within the larger Portland community. They use that to boost others while bringing in more customers and engaging in the latest sustainability practices. For example, Stumptown sources from only fair-trade and sustainable farmers. They also regularly host art from artists throughout the Portland area. 

Equator Coffees (Marin County, CA)

Equator Coffees is a women-owned business that operates under the belief that “coffee can be a force for good.” You can use their website to order extremely unique coffee types or purchase brew guides. Equator Coffees also notes they are a certified B corporation, meaning they place a massive emphasis on sustainability and improving the world. As such, ordering from Equator means you are ordering coffee from a business that treats its staff well, ensures best practices with its farmers, and is engaged in improving its community. 

If your morning coffee routine seems stale and boring, there’s good news: It doesn’t have to be. These ten small businesses can help make something extraordinary of your morning, and by purchasing from these businesses, you can invest in local economies and workers. Do something special with your mornings, and check out any of these incredible vendors. 

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