Bridge City officially began roasting in 2017. Owners Jon Quigg and Greg Ward were introduced to each through email by Dan Weidenbrenner with Mill Village Farms after each of them had similar conversations with Dan during the same week. Greg was in the process of taking monthly trips from his current home in Denver to research the viability of starting an impact based coffee shop in Greenville and Jon had just started a roasting company of his own called Culdesac Coffee. One of the common touch points for the two was Purple Door Coffee based in Denver. Greg was on their board helping with business strategy and Jon had come across them during his own research of what impact employment could look like through roasting. After talking back and forth for a couple months, and almost deciding not to work together, the two decided to solidify their partnership under the name Bridge City Coffee.
Though opposite from each other across the board in literally almost every behavioral and personality assessment they took, their unbending shared focus on Bridge City’s mission formed an incredible friendship and partnership. Their shared missional focus of constantly seeking to build value and hope in people through coffee has carried them from roasting out of a 10’ x 10’ shed, to a windowless warehouse that would suck the life out of the brightest soul, and now to their first storefront location in Greenville, which has a lot of windows to make up for all that time roasting and running production in a concrete box. Greg and Jon are both incredibly humbled that the dream they had years ago is coming to life.
Building value and hope in people through coffee
Bridge City Coffee is an impact driven organization seeking to model how for-profit businesses can truly put people first - our employees, customers, the farmers we source from, and the community at large - while still operating in a self-sustaining way.
For us, coffee is a means to achieve a greater end. Though it is a delicious means that we truly enjoy and take pride in crafting with excellence, our end goal is to use it to bring our vision to life: helping bring about a world, one community at a time, in which people are equipped to take care of themselves well so they can better help those around them.
We have a three tiered business model: coffee sourcing, employee training program, and community impact.
Since we began our business as a roaster we have had the most time to focus on how we source our coffee. While transparency reports are required from anybody we source from, we also go much deeper than that with our three partner farms, doing more than simply buying their beans. We are using an approach we learned from Queen City Coffee called relational sourcing. This goes beyond just purchasing a commodity from a supplier. It is accomplished by getting to know the farmers and their unique needs and desires, letting them educate us on how we can best partner with them.
Our goal with all of our employees is to help provide them with a deeper level of self-awareness so they not only understand their strengths, passions, and talents, but also how to apply them for meaningful and sustainable careers beyond their time with us at Bridge City. We do this by providing a safe, stable workplace community that often turns more into a workplace family, by leveraging behavioral, motivator, and personality assessments, and by providing on the job coaching for how to apply the information gained from the assessments. We’re currently partnered with three non-profits to help young adults transition well into the real world, which too often is cold, harsh, and doesn’t care at all about where you came from or how you grew up. Our goal is to pick up where our partner organizations leave off and Bridge the gap between non-profit services and real world employment.
It is our goal to create a culture within and around our shop that builds community. Whether with other local businesses, schools, neighborhoods, our staff, or customers, we are here to come alongside and build value and hope. We are always looking to partner with others with a similar vision, so please reach out if you’d like to talk!