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Get To Know The Roasters
Q: How did you get involved in the coffee business?
A: In 2006, I started a sustainable agriculture project with the Lenca Indians in the mountains of western Honduras. Initially, my focus was on teaching sustainable agriculture practices to help improve their food harvest. But, they quickly let me know that coffee was their primary cash crop and their greatest need was a relationship with a buyer who was willing to pay a fair price for their coffee. In response, I shifted my focus from food production to the coffee supply chain and a direct trade coffee roasting business was born.
Q: Can you explain your mission a bit?
A: My mission is to create value by improving coffee quality.
Q: Is there a meaning behind the name “Airship”?
A: Airship goes above and beyond in everything we do. If we keep this perspective then, truly the sky is the limit.
Q: What distinguishes your coffee?
A: We are involved with our coffees creation at each step of the process from the farm to the cup. Our work on coffee farms is designed to develop new levels of quality, not just source what’s out there.
Q: What type of beans do you roast?
A: Only the best. Our coffees have been used by barista competitors at the highest level of competition in our industry.
Q: Where do you receive your beans from?
A: Currently we are sourcing coffee from farms in Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras, Colombia, Ethiopia, Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, Indonesia.
Q: Do you have any stories about the farmers you work with?
A: Lots. Here’s a quick one. Our coffee growing friends in Guatemala are 4th generation coffee producers. During the Guatemalan civil war, almost all of the farmers fled their village and headed for the city to avoid the conflict. Their grandfather prayed to God for protection, and in faith, stayed on their land when everyone else left. Throughout the war, he sold bread to both armies on either side of the conflict. Today, their family owns the most land in the area and produces some of the best coffee in the world.
Q: Do you have a physical shop location?
A: Airship operates a roastery in Bentonville, AR. We roast on a vintage, 1964 Probat roaster that a friend of ours found in a warehouse in Poland. We shipped the roaster in pieces to the US and completely restored the machine from the inside out.
Q: What do you like best about your line of work?
A: It’s a creative venture. Everything we do is a learning experience. We are constantly exploring new ideas to solve problems and create something original and impactful.
Q: Something people might be surprised to learn about you or your business?
A: My first coffee roaster was a hot air popcorn popper.
Q: What’s next for Airship?
A: A unique retail experience.