It’s been over 30 years since a recent Harvard graduate named Greg Ubert fell in love with specialty coffee.
In May 1991, the lure of emerging cafe culture inspired Greg to leave a promising career in computer software.
Instead, he struck out as a solo coffee roaster, with a tiny roasting machine in a one-room office in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.
He named his company Crimson Cup for the ripe red cherry of the coffee tree and Harvard’s official color, crimson.
Thirty Years of Growth
From his one-room shop, Greg has:
- Grown Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea into one of the country’s top coffee roasters, with a string of national awards and accolades.
- Helped hundreds of entrepreneurs prosper as the owners of profitable independent coffee shops.
- Opened several company-owned coffee shops, with more on the way.
- Built relationships with smallholder coffee farmers around the globe.
- And made meaningful impacts in coffee farming communities through our Friend2Farmer initiatives.
Listen to the Business First Newsmakers Podcast
Dan Eaton, a reporter with Columbus Business First, recently interviewed Greg for the paper’s Newsmakers podcast.
They talked about the evolutions of the business over the past 30 years, how the Covid-19 pandemic impacted Crimson Cup and its customers, and his hopes for our future.
Greg highlighted the importance of farmer relationships, sustainability, and Crimson Cup’s core value of giving back.
“Relationships are so important to us,” he said. “What I didn’t realize was that we could make a difference. I think the industry’s been around for so long. What are we going to be able to do?
Well, it turns out we could do a lot. We show our coffee farmers, a lot of them, how to make better coffee …”
To hear the full story of Crimson Cup’s history and work toward a sustainable future for coffee and the farmers who grow it, listen to the podcast.