Thread Coffee is a collectively-owned and operated small-batch coffee roaster committed to a transparent model of trade that promotes dignity, sustainability, and solidarity. Through hand-crafted, quality coffee we sew together organizational models based on participatory democracy and self- management.
Who is Thread Coffee?
Thread is collectively-managed by Casey McKeel, Michelle Fleming, and Holly Kent-Payne. Casey grew up in her mom’s coffee shop; enamored with coffee from a young age, she was dedicated to helping support a model of trade that shifts power back into the hands of the farmers. Michelle has been with Thread for 5 years and is an SCA certified roaster, they love fruity African coffees most of all. Holly has been a barista in specialty coffee for three years, and is now learning to roast. Together, these three form Thread Coffee.
Thread formed in 2012 when three people got together and decided they wanted to come up with a way to be in solidarity with different social movements through the world. Luckily, they also all shared a deep passion for coffee. Combining those two things together, Thread Coffee was born.
Beyond Fair Trade
Thread Coffee works to create relationships directly with farmers, ensuring that producers receive a just price for their beans, and that their coffee is grown in a way that’s good for both the environment and the culture. Thread goes above and beyond fair trade standards to provide a model of trade that is more than just a logo. More and more farmers are expressing that fair trade minimum standards are not, in fact, fair. Thread strives to build a better model by:
- paying higher prices than the fair trade minimum
- establishing long-term, direct relationships with farmers
- supporting practices that protect the environment and the culture
- making a commitment to participatory democracy and collective structure, both here in the workplace and with the farmers
In striving to create a better model of trade, transparency is key. Thread works to provide information about our coffee’s journey every step of the way. All of our contracts and financials are open and available to the public.
Revolution through Coffee
Many different social movements throughout the world have turned to coffee as a means of supporting their autonomy. From the Zapatistas and Las Abejas of Mexico, to the women in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Thread seeks to work with farmers whose social movements we want to stand in solidarity with.
Check out this video to learn more!
Thread is a part of the Red Emma’s family of projects. We’re also a member of the Industrial Workers of the World, and the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives. In an effort to avoid taking out a line of credit with a bank or credit card company, we are supported by the radical lending project, The Working World, as well as our incubator project Red Emma’s.
The Thread Coffee roastery is located at 1400 Greenmount Ave, inside Open Works.