Barista Magazine

APR-MAR 2014

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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21 of America's Conference and Expo April 25–27 in Seattle.) Virtuosity aside, this is a company with some damn fine cof- fee—the awards and accolades heaped upon them over the years is proof. After winning Roast Magazine's prestigious Roaster of the Year competition in 2011 (having made it to the final round in four previous attempts), the company was featured on the CNBC fea- ture documentary The Coffee Addiction—the host of the show even went on a sourcing trip to Peru with Phil Beattie. Further, Dillanos' roaster Dusty Ellison won the coveted SCAA Roasters Choice award in 2011. This month, all of Dillanos is eager to see how Laila Ghambari will do in the United States Barista Championship, since she won the Northwest Regional using Dillanos Coffee. One of the most essential reasons for Dillanos' success is one of the most simple: education, education, education. David, Chris, Howard, and the rest of the company's leadership understand that Dillanos' success or failure isn't the result of one or two people; therefore, investing in the whole is paramount. They do this by offering employees both voluntary and mandatory coffee-education classes, from the Cup of Coffee Knowledge program, which is 12 weeks long and covers every- thing from growing to cupping coffee; to the book Brewing a Creative Culture, which was published by Dillanos and is required reading for all employees. One more thing: Everyone from the delivery drivers to the CFO pours latte art. "We have a book that sits in our lobby that lists each staff member, their title, and a picture of their latte art," David says proudly. Education extends far beyond the walls of Dillanos' headquarters, though— wholesale customers are encouraged to join Dillanos coffee buyers and staff on trips to coffee-producing countries every year. "Having an opportunity for our cus- tomers and employees to meet the people that produce the coffee we buy has been a very rewarding experience, strengthens our company culturally, and builds strong, long-lasting relationships with our cus- tomers," says David. All this investment in company develop- ment, from acquiring some of the world's best coffees to empowering employees and customers, hasn't gone unnoticed: Dillanos was named The Best Place to Work twice by the South Sound Buiness Examiner. "It's a huge priority to protect and care for our employees and our work environment," David says. "We are big on doing things together as a family, and have created many events and celebrations that are now ingrained into our culture." Like a Super Bowl victory for the hometown Seattle Seahawks, for example? Don't think it went unnoticed that the Seahawks were ahead 22 to nothing for the first part of the game. As David wrote in a company-wide e-mail during that championship, "You better believe it, baby." —Sarah Allen B o o k 1 - 4 4 . i n d d 2 1 Book 1-44.indd 21 3 / 1 9 / 1 4 9 : 5 2 P M 3/19/14 9:52 PM

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