From The Roaster
ABOUT SQUARE ONE COFFEE
We believe that people matter, so we do our best to respect every person involved in the process of getting coffee from the seed to your cup—from the farmers, to our roasters, to our baristas, to our customers. At the farm level, this means that we partner with coffee producers and farming communities, paying premium prices for their hard work and reinvesting into those communities whenever possible. It also means paying all of our employees a living wage with opportunities to learn and grow in their craft (which includes traveling to coffee-producing countries to meet the farmers we partner with and see the entire process for themselves). Put simply: We are passionate about coffee, and we believe that people matter.
Josh and Jess (the owners) were living abroad from 2000-2004 doing humanitarian work in coffee-producing countries like Papua New Guinea, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, and India. At that time, though they often worked with coffee-farming communities, they had no idea that they would someday be involved in the coffee industry.
In 2004, they returned to the U.S., started a family, enrolled in business school, and had the opportunity to start a small, quaint coffee stand in a farmers market in the countryside of Lancaster County, PA, where they also roasted their coffee in 1 pound batches (AKA non-stop).
Three years later, in 2007, they purchased Square One Coffee (established in downtown Lancaster in 2000), upgraded the roasting operation, and started selling coffee in a retail and wholesale capacity.
WHAT MAKES US UNIQUE
Square One is unique because of our values and how we live those out as a company. We strive to respect and empower every person involved in the process of getting coffee from the seed to your cup. We don't want to stop at buying the cream of a farmer's crop one year, never to purchase from them again. We want to build healthy, sustainable, long-term relationships. We don't want to stop at paying our staff minimum wages that force them to work several jobs just to afford the cost of living. We want to pay them fairly, and whenever possible, enable them to build a career in the coffee industry. We don't just want to ship our wholesale customers coffee, take their money, and wish them "Good luck!" We want to provide the necessary support, training, and education to help ensure their success. The way we see it, we're all in this together.
We're working towards a stronger, more sustainable coffee supply chain (Note: We're also having a ton of fun while we do all of that!). Between our participation in barista competitions, barista camps/conferences, teaching and attending skill-building workshops, and origin trips, we do our best to support our industry, educate our staff, and deliver consistently high-quality coffee to our customers.
Our highly skilled staff boasts several Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) Certified Lead Instructors, several Barista Guild of America (BGA) Certified Baristas, and a Licensed Q-Grader. We love learning and honing our craft, and we are grateful for our customers who make it possible for us to do what we love.
More about where we’ve been: Accolades: 2013 Good Food Awards Finalist 2014 Good Food Awards Winner 2014 8th place in the U.S. Brewer’s Cup (& 3rd in the North East) 2014 10th place in the U.S. Barista Competition (& 5th in the North East) 2015 Good Food Awards Winner 2015 10th place in the U.s. Barista Competition (& 2nd in the North East)