Floyd County, VA – In the Q1 2020 issue of the Virginia Economic Review, a publication through the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, focused on showcasing Virginia’s food and beverage industry. The New River Valley’s own Red Rooster Coffee was featured in an article in the reveiw, titled “Virginia Roosters Earn National Recognition for Quality.”
Here is what the article had to say about Red Rooster Coffee:
Red Rooster Coffee opened in downtown Floyd in 2010 with values reflecting its small-town origins: quality, environmental stewardship, and family. The company uses organic and fairtrade coffees whenever possible, with a particular focus on partnerships with farms that treat workers fairly.
“The way that specialty coffee is going to move forward in the world and replace plantation-style agribusiness in Brazil and Vietnam is that we have to be transparent about what we’re buying and why we buy the coffee that we buy,” said owner Haden Polseno- Hensley.
“We buy most of our coffee from a specialty coffee importer who has people on the ground who set price with the farmers or the export mill. They come to an agreement about the size of the premium they’re going to pay, but they always pay a premium above the price on the commodities market.”
Red Rooster evolved from a small community coffee shop that was one of three in Floyd, a town of 450 people in the New River Valley. Polseno-Hensley realized that he needed a differentiating factor to draw business in a saturated market, and he settled on upping the quality of his brew.
“My early coffee was better than 95% of the coffee that you could buy,” he said. “But how do you get from that to roasting world-class coffee? It was many years of trial and error and tasting.”
Red Rooster sells its coffee at Fresh Market and Whole Foods locations in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C., as well as several other stores and coffee shops in the region. In addition to the Forbes honor, the company took first place in the Brewers Cup in the U.S. Coffee Champs qualifiers last year. Its cold brew won first place at Coffee Fest Baltimore in 2018, and its espresso earned the same honor at Coffee Fest NYC in 2016.
With the bounty of workforce and water paired with affordable land, a good culture for niche markets, and a history of agriculture, Virginia’s New River Valley proves a Natural Fit for companies in Food Processing & Agribusiness.