We have made it pretty clear that we have a love affair with coffee. This is to be the first in a series of blog posts about local coffee places close to us, in Lexington, Kentucky. We all love to “shop local” and support the local business owner, right? It’s good for everyone! But you may not even know what local places there are or what they are all about. If you are local to Lexington, we are going to give you all the inside info into your local coffee shops and roasteries. If you’re not local, you will know exactly where to find your coffee when you come for a visit. Plus, a lot of our local coffees offer online ordering, so you can benefit no matter where you live!
If you live in Lexington, KY, you may have already had Nate’s Coffee without even knowing it. Whether with your donut at North Lime Coffee & Donuts, over your ice cream at Crank & Boom, or even mixed with your beer from Country Boy Brewing, you’ve had Nate’s Coffee. For a full list of where you can find this local favorite click here. If you haven’t been to any of those places (you should definitely check them out!) keep on reading, because today we are going to introduce you to the man, the myth, the legend, behind Nate’s Coffee. And he is going to tell us more about his namesake coffee.
A lot of us don’t figure out what we want to do in life until we are adults. Sometimes many years past college. Nathan Polly, founder and creator of Nate’s coffee, designed his own business plan for a coffee shop for a project in high school. Why such an early fascination with all things coffee? He told us coffee was something for everyone. A coffee shop is a place where everyone can hang out and have a good time, regardless of age or station in life. Coffee is an equalizer!
After high school, he spent time working in many different areas usually in positions of leadership. He was, not surprisingly, drawn to the coffee company chain, Starbucks where he worked for several years. He eventually managed and helped to open several stores as well. Nate credits a lot of his coffee and business know-how to his years spent there. It was refreshing to hear him appreciate rather than scorn his coffee roots in a “stick it to the big coffee man” kind of attitude. I think it reflects well on the heart and integrity behind Nate’s coffee. This is a community focused guy, from his good-natured personality to the way he runs his business, and it’s obvious that bringing people together is a central focus.
When advancement at Starbucks began taking him further and further from home and the people he loved most, he did what any entrepreneurial minded person would do: he stepped out on his own. From the humble beginnings of roasting coffee beans in a popcorn popper (I’m just impressed he knew how to do that. And hey, you gotta start somewhere!) to the many thousands of pounds of coffee roasted in a YM-15 Ambex roaster (affectionately called “Big Blue”) each month, Nate’s Coffee is making a name for itself. Well, er, besides the name it shares with it’s creator.
When asked to choose a favorite coffee roast, Nate compared it to choosing a favorite child. Understandable considering how many hours of roasting and tasting over and over go into making each coffee blend. “It takes a lot of patience and tasting the same bean roasted 6 different ways to go, “That’s it!” he says. But because we asked, he chose the El Salvador as a favorite light roast and the Blue & White as a favorite Dark roast.
It’s always nice to know that something you would buy anyway, will also help to benefit someone else. Each month, Nate’s coffee chooses a charity and $1 from each pound of the Blue & White blend sold goes to the chosen charity. Choosing a different charity each month allows the company to bring awareness to many different charities. This month’s charity is Food Chain, a nonprofit organization here in Lexington that strives to educate and connect the community to the concepts of growing healthy, fresh food and strengthening our local economy. To find out what other charities Nate’s Coffee has supported, visit: natescoffee.com/blue-white-charity-blend/
While you’re on the website, check out their new subscription service! You can customize it to your monthly (or weekly!) coffee needs. Who hasn’t woken up to find you’re out of coffee and struggled to make it to the store without your coffee to first help you function?? Coffee comes to my doorstep? Yes, thank you! But why choose Nate’s Coffee over your usual go to coffee? You can’t beat the freshness of a coffee slow roasted in small batches, and then sent directly to your door. You can taste the difference.
We sure appreciate Nate and his generosity, both to various charities and to us Salt & Life Bloggers! We left his coffee roastery loaded up with bags of coffee and merchandise. Go show him some love and try out Nate’s Coffee. You won’t regret it and you can feel good supporting good causes and a small business owner. #shoplocal