We are dedicated to cultivating change.

Our Manifesto

At Bellwether, we believe in helping you make better coffee. But we also believe in helping you make coffee better.

We believe that you can improve the coffee industry that sustains so many of us, making it more inviting, more open, and more willing to embrace the ideas that come from farmers, roasters, baristas, and consumers. And that these ideas, when shared among us, make us all more connected, creative, aware and empowered.

We believe that you can help promote transparency to allow fair wages and equal compensation for farmers—the caretakers of the very ground that provides the source of our livelihood and our lives. And that this equality will extend from our farmers to the land itself.

We believe that you can help promote transparency to allow fair wages and equal compensation for farmers—the caretakers of the very ground that provides the source of our livelihood and our lives. And that this equality will extend from our farmers to the land itself.

We believe that you can democratize education, giving baristas and coffee shop owners greater access to the information they need to learn and grow.

We believe that you can find the balance between quality coffee and the cost to obtain it; never compromising or settling for industry standards, but instead, constantly pushing to define higher ones.

While our passion will always be helping you make better coffee, we will never stop believing in a future where you make coffee better.

Our Values

We exist to challenge the notions of equality in the coffee industry and break down the barriers to a more responsible and joyful future.

Sharing ideas

Creating opportunities for economic empowerment

Setting a high standard of quality in everything we do

Providing access to resources, especially to those who are consistently denied them

The equitable treatment of all people everywhere

Our Founder

Starting something that matters.

Before coffee, I was in wine, and before wine, I was in tech. After almost ten years in tech, I became disillusioned with it. I decided to find something that could contribute to society, which could be a good model for my daughter to look up to and feel motivated to follow her passion for contributing to our community. 

In the wine industry, I was surrounded by winemakers who believe in a labor of love more than anything else. Their passion for what they did was invigorating, and it showed me that you could put your energy into something truly meaningful. One day, I was talking with a friend about the similarities of coffee and wine, and how the coffee industry was on the same trajectory as the wine industry, yet behind by several decades. For example, most wine drinkers in the 1980’s would have preferred either red or white wine. Today, most consumers prefer varietals—a chardonnay or a sauvignon blanc. The same thing was happening in coffee—a consumer may want more options than regular, decaf, dark roast, or light. We could see a trend towards consumers expecting a specific coffee from a particular part of the world roasted in a unique way. We also realized cafes needed the ability to meet these expectations while creating an experience that’s representative of their brand, which meant they would need control of sourcing and roasting their own coffee.

So, why weren’t more cafe’s roasting in their stores? We learned that the traditional model for sourcing green coffee and roasting your own coffee on-site—and the supply chain to support it—was full of barriers and not sustainable. Farmers were not paid fairly for their green coffee crops due to an imbalance in supply and demand. Expensive roasting equipment required space, gas lines, ventilation, smokestacks, building permits, and skilled labor. Archaic roasting technology dumps dirty air into our environment, which harms our planet and communities. Expertise is needed for purchasing green coffee, forecasting, managing inventory, production, and storage. We saw a significant opportunity for positive change. 

We set out to disrupt the traditional model of coffee roasting and remove every existing barrier. We started developing new, clean technology that would allow every cafe to roast on-site with the highest control and consistency possible with the lowest carbon footprint. Cafes would be able to create coffee offerings to elevate their brand and meet their customer’s expectations. If more independent cafes were roasting, the increased demand for green coffee would be decentralized, and farmers would be paid better for their beans. If we did it right, we would create real, meaningful change for the coffee experience from farm to cup.

 

Ricardo Lopez, Founder
Ricardo & founding member Kimberly Noon accepting our Best New Product Award at Specialty Coffee Expo 2019

Our Impact

We’re on a mission to transform the coffee industry, making it more accessible and sustainable for our planet and communities across the entire coffee supply chain.