We started here…
The local farmer’s market is where it all began, and where the heart of our coffee lives. In March 2015, our founder Chris McArthur rolled his hand-built cart onto Kentucky Ave in Downtown Lakeland, FL on a mission to make his community fall in love with a completely different approach to coffee. These were no ordinary coffee beans. Chris had carefully selected single origin coffees of outstanding quality and roasted them in a way that brought forward the coffee’s nuance. Understanding that each coffee is unique, his roasting approach was tailored to bring out unique tasting notes like blueberry, citrus, toffee, chocolate, mulling spice and more. He sold out of bags of whole bean coffee in a little over an hour. Our small batch, craft approach continues to be the key to delivering the responsibly sourced, quality coffees we are known for.
Chris’s quest for coffee perfection began with… well, the Quest; a half pound electric drum roaster. Sitting on his back porch in the sweltering Florida heat, Chris would embark on 12 hour roasting marathons, feverishly recording notes and making adjustments to fine tune his roast profiles. This trial and error approach of roast, taste, repeat was instrumental in helping Chris to develop his own unique roasting style.
After a successful launch at the farmer’s market, Chris knew he was on to something special. He also knew that if his fledgling business was to be sustainable for the long-term, he would need a commercial production space. He launched a crowdfunding campaign banking on the fact that locals were invested in Patriot’s success. The campaign was an overwhelming success, surpassing 110% of our fundraising goal.
On January 1, 2016, Chris opened the doors to his very own commercial coffee roastery, the first of it’s kind in his hometown. With a brand new US Roaster Corp 5 Kilo roaster (“Sadie”), Patriot Coffee Roasters was now positioned to elevate the coffee experience at local coffee shops and cafes, along with the home brewing needs of our community.
Soon after, Chris hired his his first employee, Nicole Maddock, who began as an volunteer apprentice and quickly proved herself a formidable roaster. She would become the first roaster in central Florida to earn the SCA Roaster Level One certification. The two soon traveled to Colombia to participate in the Best Cup competition and secured some of the top coffees in the country at auction.
Today, Nicole is Patriot’s lead roaster and production manager.
We recognize that the great privelidge of operating our roastery would also not be possible without the brave men and women who sacrifice so much to protect our way of life. As a veteran owned business, we understand well the challenges these men and women face. In 2017 we launched what is now Operation Hero’s Salute, a means by which a unit from any branch of service could be nominated to receive a free coffee care package. It’s one small way we demonstrate our appreciation.