If one word could describe the mission of Wild Goose Coffee Roasters’ Nathan Westwick & Joe Capraro it would be community. This amazing duo has not only set the bar high with quality coffee, but have made their business into a vital part of the Redlands, California community.
From a humble start in 2008 at local farmers market, Wild Goose now sells thousands of pounds of fresh roasted coffee, and with each sale, food is donated to local food banks and charities.
Nathan Westwick generously offered to allow us an interview.
Better Communities through Better Coffee
We asked Nathan what made him decide to start in the coffee business. After a 15 year teaching career, Nate said “I wanted to give back to the community.” Much as seeds of education planted in the classroom can grow and bloom children into adults, Nate wanted something that could do more than just simple charity. His faith called him to a bigger purpose, and it was obvious that there was a growing need in the community, especially as the economy slowed in 2008. Wild Goose Coffee was the answer to his prayers, and the company was launched.
After selling at farmer’s markets & events, food donations began to grow, and soon good press and word of mouth began to spread.
The company purchased a Probat L12, ( a commercial coffee roaster,) and after training to master its’ roasting capabilities, had it moved from La Jolla, California to Redlands, placing it in a warehouse on what they’ve named “Brewer’s Alley” in honor of the shared passions with their neighbors, Hangar 24 Brewery.
One Million Pounds of Food Donations
Fast forward to today, and Wild Goose has donated nearly 1 million pounds of food to local food banks via proceeds of their coffee sales. Every time you drink a cup of Wild Goose Coffee, you are helping put a meal on someone’s table.
When that cup of coffee directly benefits those in our own communities through our food donations, the community ties are forged even stronger. Nathan Westwick
As far as the community response, Nate says that it has been overwhelmingly positive, and as he says, “Redlands loves local business.”
The sales keep growing, and at times the balance between work & family becomes a juggling act. An avid cyclist, Nate notes, “The hills are always exhausting.”
While not from a marketing background, Nate has been working hard to develop strategies that will allow the business to grow, and to continue increasing food donations.
He insists on consistency in giving, and recommends that anyone who wants to start doing similar community efforts also stay consistent with their donations. Nate says, “There’s always an angel & a demon on our shoulders, and it’s natural to want to earn more,” but the foundation of giving is to be faithful & consistent.
Quality in Roasting
Using a Probat L12 roaster & spurning computer models, Wild Goose strives to achieve a high quality artisan roast by paying close attention to factors such as ambient temperature & humidity levels. Wild Goose carefully toasts each bean for the “sweet spot” where coffee flavor is rich and full with point of origin notes. Every batch is craft roasted.
Cooling the beans
In addition to Roasted coffee sales to the general public, Wild Goose provides training for coffee customers at every level from daily user to cafes & restaurants. Wild Goose also furnishes consulting and training in espresso & coffee preparation.
Wild Goose offers coffee merchandise to the general public.
Did you know? Every time you drink a cup of Wild Goose Coffee, you are helping put a meal on someone’s table? Every pound of coffee sold provides 10 lbs of food to a local food bank. It’s simple, and it’s beautiful, and your community thanks you.
Tell Us More
A family man, Nate is married, has three children, ages 11, 9, and 7. He’s an outdoorsman, cyclist, and enjoys blogging about the balance between faith, family and business.
A quick trip to his blog site reveals the personable writings of someone, who like all of us, struggles with the balances in modern life. Words of inspiration can be found there…
He posts regularly on his page: http://nathanwestwick.com/
During our visit, some of the family stopped by with lunch. It was plain to see the affection between all. Nate was friendly & personable, and they’re the kind of family you’d like to hang out with in the woods around a campfire, talking late into the night…
Part of a Sustainable Coffee Chain
As green coffee importers, we at A Little Further South Coffee have focused our attention on the farmers, and worked to strengthen the rural coffee communities where we buy our beans. By paying more, and by paying attention to what is happening in the communities and small farms, we hope to make the supply chain stronger from field to your cup.
A sustainable coffee chain should however, encompass everyone.
It’s exciting to see efforts to make the consumer end of the coffee chain one that gives back, and can help communities here. Our hats are off to Wild Goose for being an inspiring example of what can be done when a local business decides to share their success with the overall community.
For more information please visit their website at www.wildgoosecoffee.com