The beans are the boss of Pemberton Valley Coffee Company’s Paula Robertson, but the planet is never far from mind
There’s nothing lazy about life on the Lazy Crow Ranch. A few clicks up the Pemberton Valley, Paula Robertson of Pemberton Valley Coffee Company artisan-roasts organic, shade-grown, fair-trade beans, and even rogue black bears get jazzed by the scent of her crackling coffee beans.
A home-based Pemberton business, Pemberton Valley Coffee Company works with an independent bean broker who travels to coffee producing regions, sourcing out the best Organic, Shade grown, Fairly traded, UTZ cerified coffee beans. He is a direct buyer, dealing with estate farms that have their own processing mills. There is no middleman, allowing farmers to be paid a better price.
Once the beans get to Pemberton, the entire process, from the coffee roasting and blending to packaging, is done by hand.
“Working out of the house, for me, works well,” says Robertson, “because then I can play.” And play is about all a person can do after a morning of brew-sampling. Robertson samples her batches regularly, “so you can know the flavour profile of what you’re doing. After a morning of that, you’re so jacked up, you might as well have the afternoon off.”
Pemberton Valley Coffee Company coffee is available at Pemberton and Whistler grocery stores and is served at Blackbird Bakery and North Arm Farm. Paula is also a regular fixture at the Squamish Farmers Market, pulling shots of espresso, whipping up lattes and iced coffees, and dishing up beans in bulk. “Having local businesses support you… it goes such a long way, I can’t even find the words. It makes such a huge difference. Knowing that Blackbird Bakery, The FoodLovers and North Arm Farm support me has changed the scale of my business hugely. Plus, I can supply in bulk, so there’s less packaging and waste involved.”
Robertson’s green conscience is pricked by the packaging of her small bags of coffee, especially when customers admit that they simply cut the bags open and empty the beans at home into coffee jars and containers. “You can leave your coffee jar, labelled with your name, your blend and your hone number, on my porch, and I’ll fill it directly, and deliver it you on my bike,” she says. “And then you get it at bulk rate.”
It’s a grown-in-Pemberton approach that Robertson has been doing for the past 6 years. The beans might be her boss, but the planet is never far from her mind.