The veteran-owned coffee company supports firefighters and first responders through a variety of roasts.
BY KATRINA YENTCH
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos courtesy of Fire Department Coffee
In the coffee world, there are those of us who cherish a single pourover a day—maybe even two if we’re feeling a little crazy. And then there are those who are chugging coffees every hour, reliant on the magical powers of caffeine to power through a productive day. You can consider firefighters, paramedics, and other first responders to fall into the latter category.
Coffee and Firefighters Are an Essential Team
Fire Department Coffee is a veteran-owned roasting business in Rockford, Ill., from founders Luke Schneider and Jason Patton—both of whom are current full-time firefighters. Luke became obsessed with coffee during his days in the Navy, drinking it to stay awake during long hours and shifts in service. After retiring he became a firefighter, and in 2016, that necessity became a passion and a business. To this day, the team consists of other current and retired firefighters and first responders in love with coffee who are eager to support others in need of caffeine during the night shifts.
“Firefighters drink a lot of coffee at all hours of the day, and not only does the caffeine help keep us alert and energized, but also coffee is often enjoyed together as we sit around the kitchen table or on the tailboard of the fire truck,“ says Luke. “It brings us together, and I don’t believe you’ll ever find any fire station without it.“
Where and What You’ll Find at Fire Department Coffee
Although Fire Department Coffee does not have any physical locations, their wholesale is widespread, as is their selection of coffees. From single-origin Timor coffee to donut shop-flavored pods, Jamaican Blue Mountain, and even a subscription for spirit-infused coffees, it seems like there’s an option for every kind of coffee drinker. Military and first responders get 15% off their purchases, and a portion of funds from all coffee sales go toward their foundation.
Giving Back: The Fire Dept. Coffee Charitable Foundation
For Luke and Jason, Fire Department does more than just sell coffees of every sort—it gives back to the community. “The most rewarding thing about working for Fire Department Coffee is giving back to our fellow firefighters and first responders in need,“ says the team.
In addition to assisting in care packages for those deployed overseas, the brand is part of the Fire Dept. Coffee Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)(3) that helps these groups who are injured on the job both mentally and physically, or who are facing other serious health challenges. Some places they’ve donated to in the past include networks that support firefighters with cancer and organizations that assist first responders with taking control of their mental health, as well as through contributions to firefighter unions.
To learn more about Fire Department Coffee and its foundation, check them out here.