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Meet Juliette Simpkins and Trevor Moisen of Black Ring Coffee in Long Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Juliette Simpkins and Trevor Moisen.

Juliette was a therapist at a mental hospital and was having difficulty separating herself from her work. Seeing people at the worst parts of their life can really get to you. Life is short, so they decided to do something that would make them happy. They spent hours in local coffee shops brainstorming business ideas. At some point, they realized that they had already found their happy place. They took classes, read books, and learned from as many local roasters as they could. Once they felt confident enough in their roasting skills they decided to start selling the beans. They started out roasting on a sample roaster in their home and selling online and at a local shop, MADE by Millworks.

Has it been a smooth road?
There are always struggles with small businesses. Getting our name out there, saving up to be able to build out the cafe without investors nor a Kickstarter, finding a spot in Long Beach that the city would be okay with us roasting in.

We promoted ourselves through social media and doing as many pop-ups as we could. When we popped up we would make pour overs to order and sell bags of beans and bottles of cold brew. Saving up for the shop was difficult so we boot-strapped the shop and did as much of the work as we could ourselves.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Black Ring Coffee story. Tell us more about the business.
Black Ring Coffee is a company based on labor, community, and sustainability. Fair wages are vital for communities to thrive, from the farm workers to the baristas. We have regular art installations from local artists, host independent music, and collaborate with other independent food businesses. Whenever possible we try very hard to make sure our single-use to-go products are recyclable and compostable. (We’re even trying to get rid of single-use straws altogether.) We source milk products and alternative milk that have environmentally and animal-friendly practices.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I think specialty coffee shops (and local small businesses in general) will continue to gain popularity over time. As an independent business, we can focus on quality and ethics instead of pleasing shareholders. Coffee is adaptable, we will always find a way to enjoy good coffee.

Pricing:

  • 12 oz coffee bags range from $17-20
  • Specialty lattes are $4.75

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Nate Dumlao

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