Funding Unsuccessful This project’s funding goal was not reached on .
Photo-main
Play
00:00
00:00

We’re building a coffee roastery & cafe in South Seattle, with a bicycle courier service to bring amazing coffee right to your door.

We are on a mission:

Transform a long-abandoned, old building in South Seattle’s historic Hillman City into an inviting coffee house featuring exotic single-origin espressos and our artisan coffee blends that we roast ourselves, in South Seattle’s very first coffee roastery (that’s us!)

Currently, there are no good cafes, within walking distance, for Hillman City residents. That's right, a Seattle street corner without coffee. We're going to change that!

And we’ll offer something a little different from other cafés. In addition to serving up exotic single-origin espressos, our artisan coffee blends and incredible coffee-lore that connects the coffee-loving community here to Ethiopia (the birthplace of coffee) in a single cup: we’re going to deliver it! By bike.

That’s right--we’re creating a bike courier service to deliver amazing, freshly-roasted coffee beans, right to your door. From Hillman City & beyond. (And in a re-usable tin, that saves a bag, and the environment!) 

So you’ll never run out of coffee again, all while supporting a cool, local small-business that roasts outstanding “new wave” coffee. (Keep reading for more on our “new wave” roasting style.)

Plus,  we’ll add one-of-a-kind local goodness (like organic cream for your coffee, incredible fruity-boozy pies, savory Ethiopian sambusas supplied by local artisans—you can see where this is going…) to our menu & bike delivery service. Yum!

To do all this, we are fundraising money to buy the big tools: a roaster, an espresso machine, an afterburner (for the roaster) and a website.

About the "New Wave" coffee, we're roasting:

Coffee has been deemed the most flavorful thing we consume (and that’s a scientific fact!).

But for a long time, this fact was often “masked” by more traditional methods of roasting. And in the recent coffee-rediscovery, “new-wavers” discovered no matter what the region, all coffee is naturally sweet and fruity. From blueberries, to blackberries or currents to grapefruits--there’s an incredible wealth of coffee flavors we’ll show you, all based on regional distinctions, which traditional methods would ignore, and not really bring forward. (This is technically called terroir--a fancy French word, they use in wine, that we also use in coffee to describe the flavor profile relative to the unique environment coffee is grown in.)

Much like cooking a bunch of different vegetables all together, by the time it’s all cooked the veggies all take on a homogenous-taste. But when you grill carrots in one pan, sauté onions in another, and just lightly sear bok choy leaves all on their own--once each cooked element is tossed together, you can expect flavors that are both unique, and intense. And this same idea is the energy behind “new wave” coffee that looks for the natural flavors in each unique batch of coffee.

For example, Ethiopian coffee is naturally sweet and fruity. (It tastes like blueberries!) While Indonesian tend to be light-citrus (tasting more like grapefruit) and you’ll find chocolate notes in a Columbian. And, those general flavors vary significantly by region, mountain, even between fields of the same farmer.

The great thing about “new wave” coffee is that because the roasting methods brings out these unique flavors, anyone can taste the difference. Yes, you!

Try it for yourself, brewing up a cup of each from our “around-the-world” tasting sampler (included at the $70 reward tier, along with other cool stuff) or stop by our comfortable café anytime, and any one of our friendly baristas would love to show you just how more-awesome and mind-blowing (really, mind-blowing!) new-wave single-origin espresso or artisan-blended coffees can be (but in a way that’s always fun for you, never aloof or snobby).

You can truly travel the world in a single cup, or three, without ever leaving town.

And that’s why we’re proud to be part of the emerging “new wave” in coffee roasting. And bring it all to Hillman City, Seattle.

And, don’t worry, of course we’re going to serve your mochas or vanilla lattes. (Consider us here to serve up your favorites, and expand your coffee-horizons, in a fun, delicious way. And it will be fun!)

Why Hillman City:

By choosing up-and-coming Hillman City (not Seattle’s typical high-traffic coffee locales, like downtown or Cap Hill), we intentionally chose to support a community and region of Seattle that we love, and believe in.

And where we knew just a little coffee could make a whole world of difference! 

And we know this because we've lived here, for years. (Joya is a few blocks from the café, in the 98118--named the most diverse zip code in the US, no kidding! Another fact.)

And, it turns out (as we’re talking to neighbors, friends, and passers-by while removing graffiti, picking up litter and opening up windows), we were right. No one can contain their excitement that someone is finally bringing incredible coffee to Hillman City, and by bike!

And that "someone" is YOU, if you’ll back us today.

The future home of Tin Umbrella Coffee: 5600 S Rainier Ave, Unit A, Seattle
The future home of Tin Umbrella Coffee: 5600 S Rainier Ave, Unit A, Seattle

Why we need your support:

We're using Kickstarter to spread the word to the community, Hillman City, all Seattle, and beyond, and to ask the community we’re investing in to invest in us!

Money we’ve saved from our other jobs is covering construction costs and operations. Your support helps us buy the big essentials to start this community coffee shop and roastery in Hillman City!

  • A refurbished (but fantastic) 7 kilo Diedrich Coffee Roaster
  • A refurbished (but amazing) La Marzocco Espresso Machine
  • A big thingy called an "afterburner" that reduces our environmental impact
  • Plus, build a website and rad logo design everyone will be stoked to sport—on their fave morning coffee mug

Our goal is to be pouring you a cup of amazing single-origin coffee in our café no later than August 2013. With the roastery opened no later than September 2013. (The coffee will show up on your door, shortly thereafter, with details to follow.) If we can open shop sooner, we will.

Building the Seattle & Ethiopia

Here in Seattle, we know a thing or two about coffee. Good coffee. Due, in large part, to the past thirty+ years of coffee evolution.

But northeastern Africa (the cradle of civilization that is also the birthplace of coffee, and source of the world’s finest coffees), the rugged, beautiful country and people of Ethiopia engage with an incredible coffee culture that spans, not thirty, but thousands of years.

And, unlike other coffee shops in Seattle, with our café in the Southern Rainier Valley (nestled amongst an extraordinary Ethiopian community) we’ll actually connect you, personally, with unique and timeless elements of a larger coffee culture, that now exists literally next door!

From exotic coffee ceremonies to stories to savory-spiced pastries, we’ll bring a bit of Ethiopia and lifetimes of coffee history, to YOU, in our one-of-a-kind café space and intimate roasting room.

Joya, our enthusiastic resident expert, who came back speaking Amharic after living in Ethiopia (betam amasagnalo!) is excited to connect the two parts of the world she loves most, in one great place! And, once the café and roastery is up and running, will head back to Ethiopia to start sourcing one-of-a-kind beans from the contacts and friendships forged over the years.

The rock-hewn church, Bet Georgis, in Lalibla. Just one of many amazing, relatively unknown things from Ethiopian history.
The rock-hewn church, Bet Georgis, in Lalibla. Just one of many amazing, relatively unknown things from Ethiopian history.

More about our business model:

When starting with our goal of “create a community coffee shop in Hillman City, where there is none”  it required a totally different business model that (unlike other cafes) removed the dependency on unknown foot-traffic and cafe revenue, so we sustain business through other means. (At least initially as we get started.)

High or low cafe traffic, we’re prepared. In addition to roasting our own coffees (providing higher-margin revenue), and our excitement-building mode of delivery (what Seattlelite doesn’t want their coffee delivered by bike?!), we’ll also have a great website and online presence, so anyone can buy our coffee (supporting our mission to do good, through amazing coffee) anywhere, anytime!

Plus, Joya knows “online marketing”, after building a successful strategy and analytics career, consulting for a bunch of high-profile “Fortune-500-y” type clients and architecting unparalleled successes. She’s also fluent in retail and subscription business models, and confident the coffee shop model works.

That’s the long way of saying: our coffees will be available (& making money) through all sorts of usual (and unusual) channels, for long-term business sustainability. 

Why we're here:

Joya was a location-independent marketing consultant, with a penchant for establishing “regular” status at Seattle’s coffee top-notch shops, when not living months-at-a-time working from remote corners of the world. (She’ll take care of all things marketing and making sure the final logo is sufficiently awesome.) 

While a work-in-progress (like most small businesses just starting up), Joya is committed to serving amazing coffees that creates “good”: for patrons, employees, community, and larger world. 

To thank you for your support, helping us get there, we’ve put together a stack of rewards that will be delicious, amazing, and give you truly unique one-of-a-kind experiences, well beyond opening day. (From T-shirts and mugs to free coffee cards to exotic coffee samplers to a course in home brewing or roasting so you can truly impress your friends to your very own song-- written just for you, about you, so our founder, Joya, and her fearless ukulele, can literally sing your praises at our grand opening gala event this Fall 2013 – It’s going to be a party. Just sayin’.) 

Please support us (& ask your friends to support us, post a link on Facebook to support us, tweet about us to support us), so we can invite you all down to Hillman City to party & enjoy amazing coffee, together! Fall 2013! 

Here’s to celebrating soon! 

And, thank you. 

Joya Iverson

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

As mentioned, we don't know how much foot-traffic we'll get in the cafe so (as mentioned) we've built a business model that relies on other means of moving coffee (e.g. online sales and by re-occurring bike delivery that essentially brings Tin Umbrella Coffee to the neighborhood, while the neighborhood becomes accustomed to coming to us) to minimize the need for cafe sales, at least initially.

While neighborhood response has been through-the-roof phenomenal, as our location is an unknown market, just in case, we'll start slow (featuring some awesome guest baristas, a few shifts a week, until we're certain we have the demand necessary to hire full-time staff).

We are highly motivated to make this business successful, and that includes open our doors as soon as possible, once the highest possible coffee quality and city permitting are both in perfect alignment, and not a moment earlier.

That said, we're dedicated to serving and making excellent coffee (and will see to it you're always drinking something amazing and delicious). And, Joya tends to think she defined tenacious by quitting her job and successfully establishing a consulting company-of-one (from the shores of an unnamed Mexican surfing break) the same week the 2008's worst recession was announced: neither of us have an idea how permitting and inspections with the City of Seattle will go.

We've heard people sail through, others find it unnavigable.

So we're doing all the right things, talking to all the right people, sorting out all kinds of problems -- for a end of July "soft" cafe open, with the Roastery following. (Did I mention we're working day-and-night, around the clock to make this happen, we love it so much!? :)

That said, for all our love and commitment, it still might take an extra week or two, or three (it's an old building, with lots of character, lots of surprises and lots of work to do, things break, new machines can be finicky!), and we'll be updating the website and all the social media thingys regularly to keep you updated and informed on our exciting adventures! And opening day and parties!

FAQ

  • It’s like the neighborhood milkman, but with coffee. You sign up for weekly delivery, we’ll drop it off on your door.

    Bike delivered coffee is already working in Oakland & Minnesota. It can work, in Seattle, too.

    What about the rain, you say?

    Rain, schmain. Did we mention, Minnesota's coffee delivery by bike has operated year-round? (Hello, brutal Minnesotan winter!)

    What about all those Seattle hills, you say?

    No worries, we have the Light Rail, too—we’ll pop a brightly colored, coffee-laden bike onto the train for strategic drop-offs throughout the city.

    What? You say light rail isn’t growing fast enough to get your coffee delivered by bike in Greenwood (or wherever) this summer?

    That is a bummer. But, don’t worry, we thought of this too. ;) Ultimately, our delivery area will depend on demand. So, a few options:

    • We’ll deliver to a mutually-agreeable location (like, say you work downtown, get our coffee there!)

    • Encourage your Greenwood (or wherever) friends/neighbors/passers-by to back us now (which tells us where you want to have bike-delivered coffee-awsomeness, and we’ll try to find a way)

    • Otherwise, you can still get your coffee: we’ll package up the 12 oz of coffee we roasted especially for you, wrap it with a bow, and ask your postman to deliver it instead. <3

    Oh? You don’t actually live in Seattle, but you want to support an awesome community coffee shop anyway? We think you're awesome—of course you can still get your coffee, too!

    Just order our coffee online, and we’ll package up the 12 oz of coffee we roasted just for you, wrap it with an extra-special bow, and ask your postman to deliver it to your doorstep. <3

    Last updated:
  • We're serious about coffee -- no wimpy cups here.

    If this project funds, backers will be rewarded with a serious (& awesome looking) stainless steel 400ml mug.

    We'll be sure it's the standard size, to fit most vehicle cup-holders. (Nothing worse than a travel mug that can't travel.

    Last updated:
  • We were so blown away (in a good way) by the initial support and response when we launched our Kickstarter campaign that we're a little behind. We're actually working on the designs right now. (So we don't have a T-shirt pic yet, the second we do, it'll be posted...and well before the campaign ends, so you and others can make an educated decision!)

    That said, Joya is actually, personally, overseeing the T-shirt, to make sure it's a great design and great quality T-shirt you'll love to wear. (She is a T-shirt connoisseur, and has successfully funded a series of summer events through rad T-shirt sales alone. So she knows what it takes. And she hates lame designs, cheap scratchy Ts :)

    Thanks you for considering our project--and any help spreading the word on bike-delivered coffee!

    Last updated:
399
Backers
$41,642
pledged of $58,000 goal
0
seconds to go
  • Pledge $1 or more
    You selected

    12 backers

    Bragging rights for backing a sweet, bike-themed Seattle coffee-project + invitation to our grand opening party (Sep 2013)!

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $5 or more
    You selected

    15 backers

    Free coffee "Thank You" card + bragging rights, invitation to grand opening.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $15 or more
    You selected

    10 backers

    COFFEE ONLY: One 12 oz bag of coffee of your choice + 1 coffee drink card

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $15 or more
    You selected

    20 backers

    Our artisan espresso blend for two (4 oz bag) + coffee card, bragging rights, invitation to grand opening.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    43 backers

    Official Tin Umbrella coffee mug + our artisan espresso blend for two (4 oz bag), coffee card, invitation to grand opening, bragging rights.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $2 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    11 backers

    COFFEE ONLY: Two 12 oz bags of coffee of your choice + 1 coffee drink card

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $35 or more
    You selected

    60 backers

    Limited edition Tin Umbrella t-shirt (or tank top) + coffee mug, espresso blend for two, coffee card, invitation to grand opening, bragging rights.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $2 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $35 or more
    You selected

    5 backers

    COFFEE ONLY: Three 12 oz bags of coffee of your choice + 2 coffee drink cards

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $35 or more
    You selected

    6 backers

    COFFEE ONLY: Three 12 oz bags of coffee of your choice + 2 coffee drink cards

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $50 or more
    You selected

    35 backers

    4 oz Roaster's choice single-origin coffee bag + two coffee cards, Tin Umbrella t-shirt (or tank top), coffee mug, espresso blend for two, grand opening, bragging rights.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $50 or more
    You selected

    16 backers

    COFFEE ONLY: Four 12 oz bags of coffee of your choice + 3 coffee drink cards

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $70 or more
    You selected

    8 backers

    Three-region cupping sampler (three 4 oz coffees from around the world for side-by-side tasting) + three coffee cards, Tin Umbrella t-shirt (or tank top), coffee mug, espresso blend for two, grand opening.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $70 or more
    You selected

    5 backers

    COFFEE ONLY: Five 12 oz bags of coffee of your choice + 4 coffee drink cards

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $100 or more
    You selected

    18 backers

    COFFEE ONLY: Six 12 oz bags of coffee of your choice + 5 coffee drink cards, plus your name on our "wall of fame" in the cafe

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $100 or more
    You selected

    83 backers

    Your name on our "wall of fame" in the cafe, Two 12 oz bags of coffee of your choice + four coffee cards and all of the above (the cupping sampler, espresso blend for two, mug, limited edition t-shirt or tank top), grand opening.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $150 or more
    You selected

    3 backers

    COFFEE ONLY: Ten 12 oz bags of coffee of your choice + 7 coffee drink cards, plus your name on our "wall of fame" in the cafe

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $160 or more
    You selected

    4 backers

    COFFEE ONLY: Just $10 more for ten 12 oz bags of coffee of your choice + 10 coffee drink cards, plus your name on our "wall of fame" in the cafe

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $250 or more
    You selected

    14 backers

    Five 12 oz bags of coffee of your choice + five coffee cards, your name on our "wall of fame" and all of the above (the cupping sampler, espresso blend for two, mug, limited edition t-shirt or tank top), grand opening.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $500 or more
    You selected

    1 backer

    Seven 12 oz bags of coffee of your choice + re-usable Tin Umbrella Coffee storage tin + seven coffee cards, your name on our "wall of fame" and all of the above (the cupping sampler, espresso blend for two, mug, limited edition t-shirt or tank top), grand opening.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $1,000 or more
    You selected

    5 backers

    A one-of-a-kind framed & autographed thank-you note with hand-made coffee stain + your own, private, professional coffee brewing class for you and 5 friends, at our roastery with our head barista + ten 12 oz bags of coffee of your choice + ten coffee cards, re-usable Tin Umbrella Coffee storage tin, and all of the above (the cupping sampler, espresso blend for two, mug, limited edition t-shirt or tank top), grand opening. Plus, your name on our "wall of fame" and a barista bear-hug (because we LOVE you.)

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $5,000 or more
    You selected

    1 backer

    Your very own song (a treat usually reserved only for 3 year olds) written just for you recounting your awesomeness and sung at the grand opening so our founder, Joya, and her fearless ukulele, can literally sing you praises + learn to roast coffee with our head roaster (and 5 of your friends), plus take home the beans you roast in bags with your own (professionally designed) label so you can give your to family and friends + a one-of-a-kind framed & autographed thank-you note with hand-made coffee stain + professional coffee brewing class for you and 5 friends, ten 12 oz bags of coffee of your choice, ten coffee cards, re-usable Tin Umbrella Coffee storage tin, and all of the above (the cupping sampler, espresso blend for two, mug, limited edition t-shirt or tank top), grand opening. Plus, your name on our "wall of fame" and a barista bear-hug (because we REALLY LOVE you.)

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
Funding period

- (37 days)