Dear Highwire friends & family,
Lately, it has become necessary for Highwire to raise prices on our coffee beans. These price increases, greatly overdue, bring us in line with our peers in the coffee industry, and cause everyone a certain amount of pain. For you, the pain is obviously paying more for something you enjoy and deciding whether it’s still worth it to you. That’s understandable and something we take seriously. For us it’s about being worthy of your confidence and business. One of the things we cherish most, is the chance to continuously earn our customers’, employees’ and vendor partners’ trust through strong values and fair dealing. A price increase is always a test of this trust, as it can raise suspicion of our motives and whether our interests are still aligned with yours. So in light of all this, we thought you should know where your money goes, and a bit more about who you are giving it to.
When you buy from Highwire, you are:
- Contributing to a better standard of living for a team of 40+ amazingly friendly, caring and skilled coffee, tea, and service professionals. We’re as strong as we are because our people care. We care by paying well over minimum wages for every position within the company and offering subsidized health insurance to everyone who averages 30 hours or more per week (most of our employees are full time). We feel strongly that communities thrive when the folks who work in the community can afford to live and spend their money in the community. In the Bay Area we have to stretch our preferred definition of what constitutes living in the community, but our goal is the same.
- Contributing to the success of an inspired network of more than 20 small, local businesses that we buy from, who share similar values with regard to craft, quality, ingredients and their people. Small business people who give a damn, are also spending their money here and investing in their neighborhoods/communities. We buy from these kinds of businesses because we believe they too are part of a vision for better communities. Often, their products cost more but we feel they are worth it.
- Buying into the idea that businesses can exist for purposes larger than just profit. Obviously profit is what allows all of this to keep going, but many would be surprised (and maybe disappointed) to learn how little of each cup of coffee makes it into a tycoon’s money pool. Our larger purpose is taking care of people as described above as well as consistent philanthropic efforts in our neighborhoods. As owners of Highwire, we live modestly and are content with that, as long as we believe we deliver quality we believe in, genuine service we enjoy, and are part of making the lives of our people better than they would be if Highwire didn’t exist.
We’re proud to be part of and support our network of makers, creators, dreamers, and people who did not start up a tech company (though we certainly love those people too). We feel the Bay Area is better and stronger with these energies than it would be if goods and services were cheaper. So we charge what we have to charge. It’s not a decision we make lightly. We hope you understand, can get behind our values, and will talk to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to discuss any of this with us.
Robert, Rich & Eric, Founders of Highwire Coffee Roasters