Who is Zelie and Why did you name your roasterie after her?
Zelie Beans Coffee takes its name from Zelie Martin. She and her husband, Louis, lived in a small village in France. Both Louis and Zelie worked, he as a watch maker/repairman and she as a lace maker. They had 9 children, 4 of which would die in infancy or childhood. The 5 that lived into adulthood were all girls and they all entered into religious life. Zelie’s lace making business did very well for her family that she was able to provide for the whole family. Though this did not mean her life was easy. She struggled with the deaths of her 4 children that died young. She also had trouble nursing her children. However, she persevered with faith and prayer.
Zelie Beans Coffee wishes to do much of the same as St. Zelie. Help provide for families that choose to do hard work and deserve to be paid well for the amazing product that they produce. Coffee is an AMAZING product. But, it is only as good as the people that are growing, tending, picking, shipping, roasting, and ultimately brewing it (whether that is in in a home or a coffee shop). It is important that these good men and women get paid well for their great work so that they may then provide for their families and in turn continue to produce great coffee. Because, ultimately that is what Zelie Beans Coffee is about, families and the joy that great coffee brings to the people who experience it.
With this in mind, Zelie Beans Coffee only sources beans from suppliers that provide fair and above fair prices for the unroasted beans. We also seek out those sources that continue to invest into women, their families, and their communities.
How did you get into roasting?
I first fell in love with coffee at way too young of an age of 9 or 10 years old. Back then it was mostly cream and sugar, but there was still something about the coffee that drew me in. That led me to trying Mochas, Lattes, Cappuccinos, and finally single origin coffees. Kenyan AA was the first single origin coffee that I tried. I knew that coffee was always going to be a part of my life.
I ended up working at a local coffee shop while in high school. I continued to learn about coffee and where it came from, how it was processed, and how it was roasted. In that constant research I discovered that people were roasting coffee in their homes! I knew I needed to try that!
Is your coffee Fair Trade?
Not officially, I plan and hope to begin direct trade with the producers and growers in the coffee producing countries. My hope is to work directly with smaller family owned farms and invest directly with their facilities and processes to aid them in producing a better product that ultimately commands a higher price.