It’s no secret that SUPPLY.com loves coffee. We even released a YouTube video showcasing the SUPPLY.com pourover method. It’s also no secret that our favorite café in the city is, without a doubt, Dancing Goats. A few Fridays ago, we invited Batdorf & Bronson, the Atlanta-based coffee roasters behind Dancing Goats, to come out to the SUPPLY.com campus for a demo and tasting. We kicked off that Friday morning with a captivating demo by the effervescent, Ren Doughty, Batdorf’s Outreach and Customer Support Coordinator. He served up the city’s finest java, explained how to make a proper cuppa, and gave us some insight into his background as well as the history of Batdorf and Goats. Check out the photos below as well as everything we learned.
Ren’s love affair with coffee began when he was growing up in Portland, Oregon at a time when MTV was still playing music. “I first started drinking and seeking out good coffee in 1984 as a high school senior. I bought my first french press in 1994 or ‘95, and once I got my own grinder, it was all over from there. I was hopelessly hooked,” he recalls. “I find coffee delicious and I love the wide variety of notes and flavors you taste in coffees from different parts of the world. The back stories about the farms and farming families are scintillatingly intriguing and heart warming.”
After he got out of the Marines, Ren made his living as a landlord, but was in need of health benefits for his family of 5. “I went to work for a coffee shop that offered health insurance as long as you worked 20 hours a week. All of my pay went to cover my insurance contribution, but I didn’t care,” says Doughty. “After three years I became an equipment technician and eventually a trainer of techs. They got rid of their in-house technicians and I became a facilities manager for about 100 stores – first in greater Atlanta and Alabama, and eventually, in every location in Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi. Lots of time was spent on the road and in hotels, often 20 days a month. For a guy who loves spending time with his family, it was not fun. I worked for that company for 14 years.”
Ren Doughty, explaining what makes Batdorf’s coffee special
Making sure the clever coffee dripper is on point.
The perfect pour from a goose-neck kettle
“Even though I worked way too many hours for a place that begs you to dash your life upon the rocks, I stayed connected to the independent specialty coffee scene in Atlanta, attending the SCAA Expos when they came to town, and competing in the occasional coffee brewing competition here and there. That’s how I became aware of Batdorf & Bronson – and not just how fabulously delicious their locally roasted coffee was, but how beautiful their company is,” he continues. “This is a privately owned company that has been doing everything right – sustainability, freshness, direct trade with coffee farmers, putting people first, as well as doing everything honorably in every aspect of their business for 30 years. I fell in love with them.”
“When I had the opportunity to work for them 2.5 years ago, it was like receiving a tremendous gift. A few months after I began working as their Outreach and Customer Support Coordinator, I deleted my LinkedIn account. I didn’t care to work for anyone else (and you can’t trust all of those “Nunchuck Skills” endorsements anyway),” asserts Doughty. “I love sharing our coffee and our story with folks and our entire marketing strategy boils down to six words: taste our coffee, meet our people. Dancing Goats Coffee Bars are owned and operated by Batdorf & Bronson and we are proud, and grateful, that many of Atlanta’s favorite restaurants and coffee shops serve our coffee. We ship all over the country and our coffee ships the same day it roasts. We don’t just roast a bunch of coffee then sell a bunch of coffee. We roast to order. We’re freshness junkies.”
Following his trip to SUPPLY.com, I caught up with Ren and we reflected on his experience at our Austell campus. “My coffee class at SUPPLY.com was one of the best times I’ve had sharing or coffee with any group, period. Your people are knowledgeable, energetic, and not afraid to ask great questions. The room was packed and I loved that some folks just wanted to hear a bit of the story and get some of the freshly brewed coffee I brought, while others wanted to stick around and participate in the Clever Dripper and Chemex brewing demonstrations,” he says. “I had a wonderful time. Thank you so very much for inviting me, giving your time, and loving our coffee. Folks who would like to continue their coffee journey will find plenty to interest them at www.batdorfcoffee.com. Cheers!”
Aimee Shallenberger (R), Sales Operations Analyst, catches up with Ren Doughty (L), her former colleague
Jim McGregor (L), Customer Service Rep, shares a laugh with Andrew Wooten (R), E-Commerce Web Developer
Ren Doughty (L) and Jonathan Lane (R), Data Developer & former Dancing Goats barista, reunited
As Ren expressed, our experience that Friday couldn’t have been better. Not only did our day start with a jolt of deliciousness, but we also learned what makes single origin beans special, why a conical burr is the best grinder money can buy, and I think every SUPPLY.com-er in attendance walked away with a new understanding of coffee as a whole. We can’t wait to have Ren back out and continue buying coffee from the city’s best roastery!
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