As a coffee drinker, I am excited for TRVLR Coffee Roaster. They provide a great product and are also environmentally friendly. We had an opportunity to meet with Dan Romeo, founder of TRVLR Coffee Roasters. Dan, thanks for being here.
What was your motivation to get into this industry?
I followed my passions. I wanted to combine biking and coffee into one. They are like PB and J. I wanted to not just sell coffee – too many people already do just that, I wanted to create a company that was community focused and offered a experience beyond just a cup of coffee. TRVLR is a lifestyle. We should all take the road less traveled in life. Adventure awaits down paths unknown. TRVLR is my path unknown and I am enjoying every second of the trip. TRVLR is really two parts: First, coffee! And to go along with my TRVLR theme and concept I wanted to provide a to-go coffee experience. This is for our daily travels and adventures whenever we go. Who isn’t tired of settling for not great coffee when you’re away from home? I partnered up with Steeped Coffee who already packages coffee within bio-degradable ‘tea’ bags within a compostable packaging. The packaging is also nitrogen sealed for months of shelf life freshness. This is eco friendly solution to solve our coffee problems when hiking or traveling, in general. The coffee I roast is specialty grade and what is packaged in the steeped bags is a really sweet medium roast perfect for anyone who enjoys coffee, and smooth enough to convert any non-coffee drinker. All you need is hot water and 5 min to make a great cup of coffee without any mess. Secondly, TRVLR is centered around adventure and those experiences we have. Biking and being active is a passion of mine and something that we should all try to do more of. TRVLR is based in San Diego and our weather is perfect nearly year around. It doesn’t matter if you bike 100 miles on a Saturday or walk your dog around the block. Just do it. Experience it and tell your friends what you did. Maybe after you’re done you’ll enjoy a cup of coffee to reminisce about your day to your friends. That sounds like a great day.
What is a fun fact about you?
I do Ironman races. I’ve done 7 fulls, 7 halfs … and many others.
What was your motivation to get into this industry?
I followed my passion. I wanted to combine biking and coffee into one. They are like PB and J. I wanted to not just sell coffee (too many people already do that), I wanted to provide a eco friendly travel coffee alternative because I think we have all grown tired of traditional instant coffees currently on the market. Ive produced a steeped (think tea bag) to-go coffee alternative. All you need is hot water and 5 min to make a great cup of coffee. The packaging is 100% biodegradable. Secondly, biking … its a passion of mine and something that we should all do to become a more active and health and less car dependent society.
Why do you think climate change/sustainability is such an important topic today?
That is a really big question and I could talk about this for hours. Our natural resources are being decimated and we lack the ability to protect the environment over corporate profits and greed. While the human population continues to increase and our resources become more strained it will be critical that we all become more sustainable in our daily lives. As I continue to grow TRVLR I want to ensure I am making the smallest impact on our planet as possible. I just want to do my part in anyway I can. To start, we have to-go steeped bags that are eco-friendly and any cups/straws we use are all recycled and paper/plant based. It’s just a start!
What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?
First, the big players in our industry will do more and more to attract those customers seeking higher quality and more environmentally friendly choices. That is a given. The largest coffee chains have only become environmentally focused for the past few years. I hear customers all the time ask about my products and packaging and if it is or isn’t recyclable. Customers really do want to know where you buy your beans and if they are organic, for example. If a customer is going to spend $16 on a 12oz bag of beans they really do what to know and understand the quality behind the product. Secondly, when it comes to harvesting the coffee beans we must continue to buy only beans which are farmed and grown the right way. While it might be better for our bottom line to buy beans that are not organic or from a farmer who doesn’t pay the correct wages to his/her workers its unacceptable, in my opinion, to do so. Coffee buyers must continue to lead and set the example. Within the craft coffee industry that standard has already been set! There are so many amazing people just within the San Diego coffee community who are very environmentally and ethically focused in how they run their business. They are role models for me as I try to grow my business the same way.
What can the average person do to make a difference?
Just be kind. It’s a simple change for big results.
What positive changes are you seeing?
People have embraced the steeped coffee and love its quality and that they are eco friendly!
What are your social media tags for sharing this content?
#trvlrcoffee #advertureawaits #steepedcoffee #roastarito
Dylan Welch is the CEO and Host of Going Green, a podcast, website, and social media brand that highlights renewable energy, cleantech, and sustainable news.