We Love The Incredibly Delicious Fire Department Coffee!
Firefighters Know Coffee. This is a fact. My brother's a firefighter, and I know that there's more truth than we can ever guess to that statement. After all, our first responders need to be ON for 24 hour shifts - sometimes longer. So who better to make coffee than firefighters?!
I recently tried a small batch, freshly-roasted craft coffee that is both incredibly delicious and from a company whose mission I completely support: Fire Department Coffee. I was elated to receive this package. Ed and Lillie can tell you that I RAN TO THE DOOR to answer it. I opened the box, quickly snapped a photo for you all, and then aaah... yes. Life is good.
Patience in action: stopping to take a photo before making coffee
Here's why I love Fire Department Coffee:
* They support first responders and veterans. Thank you. I love to support our veterans and first responders, and this is an easy and delicious way to include that support in your life.
* Go Midwest! I love Rockford, Illinois, where Fire Department Coffee is located. I used to stop there to eat when driving out from Michigan to Minnesota, returning to grad school after trips home. NOW, I'd stop and get coffee. We've named them to our 50 best Midwest Coffee Roasters, of course.
* The logo is awesome. Now, as someone whose daughter is a graphic designer, I hear too much about fonts. This font, this logo? LOVE. Proudly sport it! Get the tshirt.
* There's fire department pricing, if you're a firefighter - yet another way this company gives back.
* FDC's instagram stream is hilarious, eloquent, and reminds us of the hard work that our first responders do. Go look. Now. I'll wait (I'm making coffee, anyway, so we have time). You'll see some of their photos here, in the article - inspiring and beautiful photos, all of them! Follow them online - it's worth checking back often.
The struggle is real. pic.twitter.com/yMUoaLNt69
— Fire Dept. Coffee (@firedeptcoffee) February 10, 2017
* But above all:
The coffee is DELICIOUS.
I will admit: I am a coffee snob. I use a chemex, or an aeropress on the road. I rarely like brewed coffee, and will always get a pour over if I am buying coffee out (or an espresso, but I digress). THIS coffee? It will please everyone, from offices or fire stations with large coffeemakers to the home coffee enthusiast.
When I am not making or drinking coffee, I dream of it. I go to sleep thinking not of breakfast, but of finishing my morning smoothie so I can have coffee. I have found that I'm even MORE interested in my coffee with FDC. It's an easy, smooth drink. And while I don't need to stay up 24 hours straight, but I have been making and drinking more than usual. It's that good.
We LOVE Fire Dept. Coffee.
We were lucky enough to catch up with the founders of FDC. Luke Schneider launched Fire Dept. Coffee in July of 2016 with the mission to bring the easiest drinking coffee to the nation's hardest working men and women. Schneider is a Navy Veteran and firefighter paramedic located in the Chicago metropolitan area. He works alongside the brand's marketing and content specialist Mark Williams, a Marine Corps veteran and passionate fireman.
We asked them about the coffee, inspiration, roasting, mission, running a business, charity work, and more. You'll find, as I did, that their answers are inspiring, educational, and that this is definitely a business worth supporting.
Luke Schneider, CoFounder, Fire Department Coffee
Mark Williams, CoFounder, Fire Department Coffee
Please tell us about Fire Department Coffee...
Fire Department Coffee is a craft coffee company based in Rockford, Illinois. Owned and operated by veterans turned firefighters, we offer roasted to order craft coffee that is affordable, unique, and easy drinking. Fire Department Coffee works hard to keep the military and public service traditions alive by harnessing the spirit of brotherhood, service, and charity.
What inspired you to create Fire Department Coffee?
As firefighters, we understand the value of great tasting coffee that is strong enough to get us through the day. Firefighters use coffee as a way to keep operating during long nights, but also as a way sit around the table and grow as a family. We wanted to create a company that does more than create great coffee. We wanted to use this business as a vehicle to give back to our country and community. One of the ways we do that is through supporting charities that help veterans and first responders. We have experienced first-hand the perseverance and hardship, which is why we are very passionate about dedicating our business to support our fellow veterans, service men and women, and country.
It seems that firefighters always have unique side businesses-what drew you together to work on FDC?
We shared the same vision and mission to create a company that puts people before profits. Growing this company also allows us to be our own bosses, artists, manage customer service, and above all, build a brand that everyone can be proud of.
You are veterans and now firefighters - thank you for your service. How did working in the military influence how you created and run your business today?
Thank you. The military teaches you "one team, one fight." That failure is not an option and you can't turn your back on your brothers and sisters. We look at Fire Department Coffee as more than a business set out to make great coffee. We are on a mission to do much more than that, and everyone who supports us is a part of it. Without the support of our team, this would not be possible.
What might people be surprised to learn, about Fire Department Coffee?
Mark, the Marine Veteran, actually wanted to be a cop long before he became a firefighter. He still has a gun belt and wears it around from time to time. We don't hold it against him.
How do you source your coffee?
We source our coffees based off of seasonality, quality, and flavor characteristics found in different growing regions. Our Original blend is a blend of Central and South American Coffee beans that give us the end result we like to call "the easiest drinking coffee you'll ever have." For our Dark Roast, we use the Komodo Dragon Bean, which is an Organic, Fair Trade, and Rainforest Alliance Coffee. It's from the Flores Island of Indonesia. The coffee beans from this region are dense and rich in flavor. We roast this coffee two ways and blend it to add depth and complexity to this already exotic bean.
Can you please tell us more about your charity work?
We look to use our reach, brand, and products to help charities with fundraising, financial support, and awareness. We specifically look to help charities that help veterans and first responders.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
To bring awareness to the Paddy Brown Program: from February 15th - March 15th, Fire Department Coffee will be donating 10% of all proceeds to the Paddy Brown Program to help advance their mission of helping Veterans navigate through the difficult and stressful process of transitioning into post military life.
To learn more - and to include Fire Dept. Coffee in your life, while supporting a fantastic small business that we can ALL get behind:
All photos courtesy and copyright Fire Dept Coffee, except 2, courtesy and copyright Wandering Educators