California Grown Coffee
Could Southern California be a leader in high quality coffee production? Jay Ruskey of Frinj Coffee thinks so. He planted some coffee trees nearly 20 years ago on his farm and has since realized, not only can he grow the crop, there’s a market with craft coffee enthusiasts.
Ruskey… “It was really about three or four years ago, I started really getting into the processing. We ship in a national and also direct at FrinjCoffee.com. We've been doing this processing and investing in equipment every year. So that equipment is fermenters, dryers, sorters. We have to bring a lot of equipment in, and then we take some ideas and some technologies from our local wine industry. In fact, I even hired a viticulturist and wine maker, leading and directing our post-harvesting. By doing coffee here, we can now have pretty state of the art processing relative to the rest of the coffee growing regions around the world.”
Frinj is also following the wine industry in how the product is marketed, with a focus on the grower who gets 60% of the proceeds.
Ruskey… “And you'll see when you buy coffees, you buy them from all the different farms and their farms on the label, like estate wine. And on the backside it says Frinj Coffee, because we're putting the farmer first. We're paying them more, we're supporting them. And our decisions that we make through our company is a farmer-first decision to make sure that we have a profitable farming community supporting us.”