About Rocky Butte Coffee Roasters
In our kitchen at the base of Rocky Butte, a mostly-forgotten neighborhood of Northeast Portland, we (James and Sheryl Helms) were experimenting to create our perfect brew. Not satisfied with options on the grocery store shelf, we began sourcing coffee beans from around the world and roasting with a small batch roaster in our garage. As it turns out, the coffee wasn't just our favorite—our friends and family loved it too! What started as a hobby blossomed into a business as we began taking orders and delivering to neighbors. We decided “Rocky Butte Coffee Roasters” was the most fitting name.
Our neighborhood is known as a place most people would leave if they could, but as community instigators, we saw the beauty behind the brokenness and decided to invest more locally. We befriended our neighbors, hosted block parties, and invited people to join us in volunteering. We started the business to work within the community, and with our early profit, we were able to gift the seed money to launch Rocky Butte Farmers’ Market. Where once there was isolation, a community was quickly forming around Rocky Butte!
As orders increased, our daughter Lily began roasting, delivering, and serving coffee at farmers' markets. Nathan Dunbar became a co-owner to provide sound financial guidance. Bryan Atkinson, real estate agent and community writer at parkroselife.com, became a co-owner to lead sales and marketing and find the space their first cafe and roastery. In 2019, we placed at the Cascadia Roaster's Competition above several established roasters.
Rocky Butte Coffee Roasters provides ethically-sourced specialty coffee to neighbors in Portland and neighbor-minded coffee enthusiasts around the world to create community through coffee. We are selling coffee to local restaurants, coffee shops, churches, and businesses. Home subscribers enjoy receiving freshly roasted coffee straight to their front doors at the frequency they need before their household runs out of coffee!
We launched Rocky Butte Espresso Bar during the Covid-19 crisis in 2020 to continue serving #coffeeforplace with the hope of meeting new friends along the way. It has been a joy to see the neighborhood embrace our small espresso bar, and we look forward to envisioning this space and growing into it further. We hope to have a full-fledged cafe and community space there and open more coffee shops in overlooked neighborhoods.
By purchasing coffee from Rocky Butte Coffee Roasters, you're making an impact in the community! Join us as we advance from a small roasting company and pop up coffee stand at farmers' markets to operating our own roasting facility and opening a local coffee shop, a place for our neighbors to connect and enjoy our best cup of coffee.