Firelight Coffee sources and roasts exceptional coffee that is verifiably sustainable. Our mission is to make a difference through initiatives like fully recyclable coffee packaging and close-knit partnerships with coffee suppliers and farmers who share our vision. We firmly believe that coffee can be more than just delicious; it must pave the way to a better future.
We source and roast the best tasting coffees, validated by on-staff Q Graders.
Our strict benchmarks for coffee sourcing include environmental, economic and social impact.
We think it’s important to be completely open about where your coffee comes from and who produces it.
Operating since 2014, Firelight Coffee’s focus is sourcing the best and most interesting coffees that push the boundaries of environmental, economic and social sustainability. By focusing on farmers’ wellbeing and caring for coffee farmland, we aim to inspire and incentivize coffee producers to create sustainable operations that can last for generations.
How it Started
Back in 2013, Todd Johnson was experimenting with home roasting coffee using an old popcorn popper from the 1970’s. The coffee usually came out inconsistent, somehow too dark and too light at the same time, but the process was fascinating. With some work and upgrades, the coffee started tasting better and better, until it rivaled many of the specialty brands at the time. Todd’s friend Ryan Harlan took notice, and a new business was born. At the end of 2014, Ryan and Todd purchased their first production roaster with the help of supportive friends and family. After sourcing their initial coffees and through many trial roasts, Firelight Coffee was officially launched. Met with positive feedback and learning along the way, the guys clarified their vision and values of providing accessible coffee and moved to West Midtown in 2015. There, with the help of friends, Firelight Coffee opened their small production facility and a tasting room.
Firelight continued to grow organically as word of mouth spread. The tasting room was called a “hidden gem” (with an emphasis on “hidden”) inside the Strongbox West coworking space. During this time, the team focused on creating sustainable and equitable trade relationships with producers and importers. They learned that by investing early in relationships with producers and importers, booking coffee ahead, and upholding their word in trade deals, Firelight could help provide stability to producers they work with, while receiving the same in return. Many of the relationships formed with producers around this time are still in place today! Eventually, the production team expanded, a larger roaster was purchased, and Firelight moved to a bigger production facility (with no tasting room, sadly). With the expansion, the team was able to implement a recycling station for almost all waste that occurs in the roastery, a wholesale cold brew station, and expanded racks for storing coffee.
Firelight’s focus continues to be sourcing the best and most interesting coffees and making them accessible to anyone, not just coffee aficionados. Every coffee Firelight buys has an expanding set of benchmarks we check for around environmental sustainability, equitable trade and farming, community impact, and more. Looking ahead, Firelight plans to grow their presence by partnering with more amazing wholesale parters and cafes, while continuing to give the best coffees and value to our subscribers and online community.