Indiana winters makes me turn to coffee more and more. Maybe it’s the endless days of bitter cold and no sun, but there’s something about that warm brew that jump starts my day and makes me feel that spring is just around the corner. I love supporting local brews, so I was excited to hear more about Blue Nile Coffee Co that was started here in Fort Wayne.
Michigan transplant Ciera Love (Director of Operations), Foster Park dweller Phil Snodgress (Managing Director), and Fort Wayne native, Zach White (Director of Marketing/Sales), started Blue Nile Coffee Co in September of 2017. They are all self-proclaimed coffee-o-holics and have an innate passion for craft coffee. A chance encounter with an impassioned local coffee shop owner at an obscure town in Michigan gave Ciera the idea to bring this craft coffee concept to Fort Wayne.
When I asked, “Why choose Fort Wayne to start this venture?” the group from Blue Nile noted that “Fort Wayne is a unique city in that it offers the amenities of a big city with the hometown feel. It has a vibrancy and a sense of life to it, while other cities are still struggling to find their heartbeat. The community members want to see Fort Wayne prosper, and small businesses have a fighting chance to flourish here.”
The three wanted to roast their own coffee and create flavors that are unique to what is currently on the market– Blue Nile does just that. They are quick to point out that they are not just about selling coffee, but their bigger passion is to help people elevate their morning routine. It’s true that most people drink only for necessity, which means they may be hitting up that delicious (insert sarcastic tone here) gas station coffee, which often translates into pouring on mounds of cream and sugar to cover up the bitter taste. Trust me, I’m guilty of having done that a time or two!
What Blue Nile does that is so refreshing is that they roast their coffee in a way that brings out the harmony of flavors that many coffee drinkers miss out on. “We create an experience with premium coffee that doesn’t need any additives.” Ciera noted. “The Blue Nile is a major river that runs through Ethiopia, a country in Africa and the birthplace of coffee. For us, Blue Nile stands for uncharted territory and endless discovery. It is a symbol of where we have been and where we are going.”
I asked the team how they determined who to partner with in sourcing their coffee, and the team brought up their partnership with small farmers in Central America and Ethiopia. “Historically, many farmers have had to combine their crop with other farmers in order to sell to a processor. This creates less-quality beans, because the flavors of all the beans don’t always complement each other. We are able to work with these farmers and purchase their crop to preserve the flavors of each bean. We pay these farmers a fair price so their employees can live a fair life. We also prioritize farms that have a conservation and sustainability plan in place”. This means that what Blue Nile is bringing to us is ethically sourced AND delicious!
Blue Nile has such an amazing selection so I asked the three what their current drink of choice was. Zach can be found drinking La Democracia out of a pour over setup. Phil is partial to cold brews and aeropress coffees with Chalatenango and Merendon, while Ciera enjoys French press coffees and uses Nansebo quite often.
While currently Blue Nile can be found online, there are plans to expand to a brick and mortar presence in the future so that they can have more customer interaction. This would be ideal so that people can smell, feel, and most importantly taste the various products in person. Although there is certainly something to be said about the convenience of having the coffee shipped right to your door!
Their long-term goal is to expand into other coffee ventures to promote best practices in sustainability as well as local and global causes. Currently a portion of their proceeds go to The Micah Project, which is an organization in Honduras that teaches at-risk youth life skills.
Be sure to check out Blue Nile’s upcoming coffee adventures on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. And for those of you who are curious about brewing your own coffee at home, they would love to hear from you! They have a Coffee 101 section that is on their website. It is updated frequently to walk you through the basics, but they were quick to add how much they love connecting with other people who are just as passionate about coffee as they are!
To jump start your love of their craft coffee, Blue Nile has generously given our readers a code to get a discount on your first bag of coffee! Head on over to their website and keep Fort Wayne Roasted!