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Roastery Rebrand and La Marzocco Roaster Residency in Seattle


In the spring of 2010, we fell in love.

It was a moment, like in the movies. One day sooner one day later, our paths would have gone in different directions. An undeniable connection, a text message opened us to each other after six years of being friendly acquaintances. Six weeks later we were married. Then, six months later, with wide eyes, empty pockets, and illogical optimism we started our business in Areli's mother's kitchen in the mountains of North Carolina.

That first text message, about buying notebooks to write down the translations we started doing together of Like Water for Chocolate and The Stranger, which opened the door from being friends to falling in love included the words “little waves rushing up on the shore.” Nine years later, those words have continued to infuse the spirit of our business and guiding ethos (included in our team handbook) as a way to share our belief that commerce can be refashioned to use the cycles of buying and selling, hiring and engaging, sourcing and sharing to create a pattern of ongoing continued lasting impact, many small and constant, many yearning for continued steps and improvement, some indicators and paths toward paradigm shifts. We recently put it to ourselves this way as a reminder: repeated reverberations from a beautiful heart. 

Two years ago we began sourcing and roasting all of our own coffees in-house under the name 4th Dimension Coffee, building from our previous roasting experience, started in the North Carolina mountains in 2004, and the grower and importer relationships we have cultivated over the years. Next month, from September 17th - October 21st, our roastery will be featured at La Marzocco Café in Seattle as the roaster in residence, 1 of 18 roasters from 8 countries chosen from hundreds of applicants. Our roastery continues to blossom and next month we’ll be taking over at La Marzocco to share our way of doing coffee with the community of that city and coffee professionals who keep an eye on LMC from around the world.

Having started with true love and $75 in our bank account, building and launching bikeCOFFEE by 2012 and now with three locations and a coffee roastery, we are a team of 41 kind and quirky individuals of so many beautiful backgrounds, languages, beliefs, and stories.

We are ineffably grateful to our family, friends, and strangers, from the Bull City to Cherokee, Guadalajara to Germany, Malaysia to Montreal, who have pitched in, inspired us forward with their helping hands, thoughtful words, non-collateralized loans, gifts, loving feedback, and daily patronage.

These waves reverberate in us, giving us the current to work, improve and bring love and thoughtfulness to what we do each day. Business is a challenge. Striving honestly for sustainability and decency is a project that takes little waves every day, every connection, every decision. We believe that commerce, as it is, is the root of so many of the world’s ills. Since the beginning, we have asked ourselves, can we, knowing that our business would be an ongoing pattern of buying and selling, use that pattern to continually express the world we hope to see more honestly, more effectively, more realistically. That is Little Waves. The reverberation of the drip that sets free the aroma in a beautiful coffee is Little Waves. 

And so we are going back to our roots to follow the feeling that has that rightness about it, the one that brought us together, the one that attracts so many of our team members to our project and has steered us all these years. Our retail shops, Cocoa Cinnamon, will continue to be driven by the experience that is amazed by the marvel of cities and the roots of languages, whose blood rushes in the awe of landscapes, the wonder of travel and the history, colors, textures, and stories of coffee, chocolate, and tea.

Our coffee brand from here forth will be called Little Waves Coffee Roasters. 

Little Waves is where a dedicated and talented part of our team focuses solely on coffee, and all the beautiful opportunities to connect with people who love coffee and cultivate coffee across the planet via a beautiful current. Each day we strive to source coffees in ways that bring people to life and let us carefully develop roast profiles and methods of extraction through which they unconceal in their truest essence. We fall in love each day with many of the coffees that people sample us, we listen to them and use our skills to let them shine. Coffee is also a medium through which we cultivate long term relationships. We use the knowledge we have of terroir, variety, processing and beyond that the coffee’s density, water activity, and altitude to analyze, affect and share coffees that shine. We hope that you will play a part and fall in love with the coffees with us.

Moving forward, you will be able to find them in our shops, and in local groceries like the Durham Food Coop, and more and more as we continue to launch our wholesale program in offices and co-working spaces such as Nido and restaurants like KoKyu or Guglhupf, at the Parlour, in shops and homes around the state and planet and from September 17th through October 21st just under the Space Needle in Seattle. 

If you are curious about what we do, connect with us for wholesale information or to attend a coffee cupping or brew session. It would be our pleasure.

Gratefully yours on the behalf of the Little Waves Coffee Roasters and Cocoa Cinnamon team,

Leon and Areli