The Beginning of Repetition Coffee
I grew up in Topeka, KS, with a curiosity and passion for traveling and understanding foreign cultures. In 2011, I was studying for my master’s degree in international relations and peace studies in Paris. My plans to become a foreign diplomat shifted with a chance introduction and peek into the world of coffee.
While I was studying supply chain and international trade, my partner at the time was dipping his toes into Paris’ budding specialty coffee scene with jobs at renowned cafes such as La Caféothèque. He discovered a mentor in Gloria Montenegro, a Guatemalan ex-pat who is regarded as the mother of specialty coffee in Paris. Through Gloria, he and I became close friends with ex-pats from Brazil who were studying agriculture with the intent of bringing their knowledge back to their home country.
As I learned more about specialty coffee and agriculture, I realized that a career in coffee could allow me to use my skills in international relations while benefitting coffee farmers and their families. My two years in Paris were a whirlwind of studies, coffee cuppings, and transformation.
By 2014, I was back in Kansas working a 9-5 job while chasing my dream of running a coffee business. I purchased a sample roaster to test my skills and commitment, and for the next 10 months, I roasted small batch coffees in a garage. Patrons at a Lawrence, KS coffee shop and bar called The Bourgeois Pig became the guinea pigs for these early roasts without even knowing it! Week by week, roasted samples were put into the coffee bar rotations. Eventually, customers started asking for the coffees by name.
Orders from “The Pig” became big enough to justify me going all-in on coffee: The sample roaster was replaced by a large roaster. The company was given the name REPETITION COFFEE: a nod to the months of roasting, sampling, roasting, sampling, roasting and sampling again that led to creating the perfect brews. By 2015, REPETITION had moved out of a garage and into an official roasting space, and I had earned my coffee tasting certification. Two years later, I was able to leave my city-hall job to focus on coffee full-time.
Social responsibility was of the utmost importance as REPETITION grew. Being a good, ethical coffee buyer required forming loyal and lasting relationships with farmers. My travels throughout South America gave me the opportunity to meet coffee farmers, assess the quality of coffee beans at origin, and verify that my supply chains were sustainable and ethical. Seeing the agricultural end of the coffee supply chain strengthened my resolve to run a coffee roasting company built on the foundation of supporting others. I also formed relationships with U.S.-based roasters who helped me find reputable importers who specialized in various world regions.
What started as a dream in Paris has evolved into a thriving business, bolstered by a growing, hardworking team in Lawrence, KS. At REPETITION, we aspire to uphold our values and deliver to you, our customers, coffee of the utmost quality from vast regions of the world.
REPETITION aims to make a difference, one cup at a time, and we couldn’t do it without you. Thanks for coming along.