On a rainy Monday, I drove cautiously down a wet gravel driveway to find the headquarters of Pure Intentions Coffee. Matt Yarmey, one of the co-founders of Pure Intentions met me outside and walked me into his warehouse as the smell of fresh brewed coffee began to brighten my mood.
Matt started our conversation by running me through the roasting process at Pure Intentions. A quick six-step procedure that took us from the bags of green beans, to “Jessica,” Pure Intentions’ bright red 25-pound roaster.
“Every piece of equipment in the shop has a name, for some weird reason,” said Matt. “This is Jessica, named after Roger Rabbit’s wife.”
After the beans are roasted they are taken to the separating table where any impurities or green beans that might have slipped through are removed. The beans are then bagged and ready to go for the next eager customer. And customers are one thing Pure Intentions has more and more of these days as Matt and his team share their carefully roasted coffee with the who’s who of the movers and makers in town.
“I really do this to meet cool people. There are so many amazing things going on in Charlotte right now and everyone needs coffee, whether it’s to kick start your day or get you through a slow patch,” said Matt. “So coffee was a natural way for me to explore my passion and be centrally involved with all of the cool things going on in Charlotte.”
Pure Intentions Coffee recently celebrated their fourth anniversary, and the company is just getting started as they look to create more partnerships like what they’ve done with The MayoBird, Summit Room and littleSpoon.
When Matt launches his coffee at a restaurant or retail store he likes to start the partnership by pulling a shift as a barista, listening in on what people are talking about and taking the pulse of the community. That way he and his team can better understand what their customers really care about and how Pure Intentions can cater to that.
More than just a local coffee roaster, Pure Intentions Coffee is about connecting people with their passions and creating meaningful partnerships along the way, like their collaboration with Free Range Brewery, where Pure Intentions has their cold brew on nitro pour — delicious.
As Matt brewed me a fresh cup of Pure Intentions Coffee (mad scientist style, using beakers, a digital scale and thermometer) we talked about what’s next for Pure Intentions.
“We want to continue to educate and inspire,” said Matt, who recently hosted a SkillPop class at C3 Labs where he taught about the nuances of brewing a great cup of coffee. Pro tip: It’s all about taking your time to make sure the temperatures are right throughout the process, from warming the carafe before brewing, to warming the cups before you pour the coffee.
2015 was a big year for Pure Intentions. Matt set a goal for the company at the beginning of last year to double the pounds of beans they roasted from 2014, and by August they had tripled that number.
“Most of our growth has happened since July… But honestly that explosive growth was due to us putting in such leg work over the past two and a half years. We were literally at every event we could be at, just meeting people and giving them our coffee,” said Matt. “And starting in July it started to pay off in a big way.”
As we sipped our coffee, which was phenomenal, we talked more about Matt’s plans for the company, including the completely redesigned retail packaging done by local graphic designer Rachel Martin, which puts Charlotte front and center on Pure Intentions’ bags.
“It is so important to me that Charlotte knows how much I care about being a part of it’s progress that I’m just going to print it in big letters right on the front of the package,” says Matt.
With a fresh cup of coffee in my hand, I thanked Matt for his time and expertise as I headed back into the darkening day. Even though it was only slightly past four, the red-tinged clouds hinted at the soon to be setting sun.
Winter can definitely be depressing, but it could be worse — at least we have some delicious coffee to help us get through it.