We chatted with our friends at Ruby Coffee Roasters to learn about their history, team, sourcing, coffees and more. Here's what they had to say.
Tell us about the history of Ruby Coffee Roasters.
Ruby Coffee Roasters was founded in 2013 by Jared and Deanna Linzmeier. Jared had previously run roasting and sourcing departments for other coffee companies and wanted to start his own project where he grew up. Ruby started with Jared sourcing, roasting, and packing everything, and the original roasting facility was a spare room in his childhood home! After a few years of growth, Ruby purchased a warehouse in nearby Nelsonville, Wisconsin and started building out its roasting facility. We now have our full production facility in Nelsonville, which features a small tasting room, as well as a full cafe in nearby Stevens Point.
What’s the story behind your name and logo?
The name comes from Jared's grandma, whose name is Ruby. He wanted the name to have importance to him personally, but also to represent the idea that coffee is something special and colorful. It goes hand in hand with our tagline: Colorful Coffees.
Who’s on the team at Ruby Coffee Roasters
Ruby now has three people who work on wholesale, two roasters, and four production people. Our cafe employees include ten baristas and line cooks, along with a general manager and a kitchen manager. Many employees grew up in the area and were excited to see Ruby thriving, while other employees fell in love with Ruby and followed the company to Wisconsin.
How is your coffee sourced and/or can you highlight one of your producer relationships?
We source our coffee through a variety of personal relationships, either with the producer/farmer directly, or through a relationship with a small import or export operation. Ruby negotiates personally with the Prentice family at Finca De Dios in Guatemala, where we plan with them based on what their harvest prospects look like and how we can adapt those coffees into our upcoming offerings list. We also work closely with an exporter in Colombia who can help us make closer ties to small, remote farms, like the farms of Duvan and Over Rivera who would otherwise have a difficult time getting in touch with us.
What sets Ruby Coffee Roasters apart from other roasters?
Ruby focuses on sourcing complex, dynamic, and otherwise colorful coffees and then roasting those coffees in a way that's easy to brew and easy to enjoy. Our approach is designed around keeping amazing, quality coffee accessible to anyone who wants it.
Which types of coffees/roasts do you consider to be your specialty?
We love sweet, clean and complex washed coffees from Colombia. These coffees tend to show how much sweetness and how much complexity you can find in a coffee, while still being balanced and easy to drink.
Have you won any awards/accolades you'd like to share?
We won a Good Food Award in 2016, and we're regularly featured on many publications' ‘Best Of’ lists.
What's your favorite coffee to drink or what coffee are you enjoying right now?
We love drinking the Colombia Over Rivera. Over and his brother Duvan manage their own small plots of their family farm, El Retiro, in the extremely remote region of Caicedo. Their farm is located at an extreme elevation above 2000masl, so their coffees develop over a long, slow ripening process, and everything is processed in small batches so you get amazing flavors of deep red fruits and a sparkling acidity.