White Pine Coffee Brings Michigan Style to their Roasting Business

Located in Lake Orion, Michigan, White Pine Coffee (WPC) is a small batch coffee roaster and purveyor that stays true to Michigan’s roots. The roastery features blends with names like “Sam Mill Espresso” and “Timber Cruiser,” reflecting the first industry in Michigan: timber. The name itself, “White Pine Coffee,” is an homage to the lumber used in the timber industry, which is also far-reaching trade throughout the United States.

“We set out to create a Michigan-focused brand, one that with growth could also travel well outside of the state,” shares Brad Kopek of the roastery. But WPC remains a strong local presence: “Our three founders have always been connected to the local food scene, and all had previous businesses that they owned and operated. Specialty coffee and its growth in the Detroit area allowed us to be a part of the growing hospitality scene and continue our entrepreneurial paths.” Integrating successfully within the Detroit area is due in large part to their lumber-inspired brand, which is expressed on their product packaging.

“Every single bag that has ever left our facility has had a StampMaker stamp on it! No joke.”

“From our 'Roasted On:' date to hand stamping every Micro-Lot single origin Lumber Baron's Reserve bag that leaves our roastery, they all get the hand-stamped treatment. So it's not a back of the house usage, the stamps are very much a part of our branding and hand-hewn aesthetic.”

The hand-crafted philosophy and aesthetic is a much-loved trend, and many see great value in handmade or uniquely authentic goods. But the quality of White Pine Coffee soars beyond the initial attraction of their brand. A strong look and feel might initially attract customers, but WPC’s coffee products are imbued with quality from start to finish.

“It all starts with knowing that no phase of the product-supply chain can be compromised. Good genetics, world-class farmers, pristine processing methods in the growing communities, finding trusted importers, and then once we finally get the raw coffee, the fun starts.”

From the timeless appeal of their stamped Lumber Baron's Reserve bag to the steaming cup of White Pine coffee in front of you, WPC products are a richly visual, palate-pleasing treat. But Brad warns again trying to do too much when marketing or branding.

“We spent a few years going down too many exploratory roads. Define your product and get it out there. I'm not saying don't experiment but be realistic about what you can accomplish per fiscal quarter, and plan products, marketing, and branding based on that.” White Pine Coffee honed in on their local area to create a specific brand, one that mirrors Detroit’s origins.

Aside from the joy of creating delectable coffee, Brad express how much the team enjoys being a part of the growing hospitality scene in the Detroit area. “We hear from our customers all the time that they are waiting for restaurants across the entire value and price spectrum to start serving better coffee. And I'm here to say, WPC is ready for it too! Specialty coffee should be coming to your favorite place soon.”

If you’re looking to have a taste of White Pine Coffee’s offerings, try Brad’s current favorite: “Single origin espresso shots! But that's not the consensus around the roastery, just my personal favorite. And make it a natural Ethiopian please, a double!”

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