Stumptown Funds Employees’ Passion Projects

The Stumptown Passion Project funds employees’ creative ideas and endeavors in a quarterly awarded grant in which applicants can win up to $1,000 to pursue their passions.


Last week, Stumptown Coffee Roasters announced the recipients of the first Stumptown Passion Project grant, an award employees of the company can apply for to fund creative projects. How does Stumptown define a creative project? “You tell us!” a press release states. “It could be an art installation, studio session, garden planting, new home brew kit, a coffee seminar registration, poetry printing—to each their own passion!”

Blake Hooper and Bret Woelfel, who work in production at Stumptown in Portland, Ore., will use the prize to start a podcast.

Anyone working for Stumptown can apply for the grant, which is awarded quarterly. Up to five applicants are chosen each quarter to receive a grant of upwards of $1,000. In the application, a team of five reviewers from various departments at Stumptown looks for the project to fulfill a few ideas:

  1. Does the project lay out a creative outlet for growth or learning?
  2. Will the project benefit the community?
  3. Is the intention of the project and the way the funds will be used clear?

Stumptown is thrilled to share the first slate of winners of the grant (for the inaugural round they picked eight winners), and they hope to see more creative ideas and concepts come their way!

Bree Schaffer, a barista for Stumptown in Chicago, will use the prize to fund an illustrated children’s book.
  • Briana (Bree) Schaffer, Chicago barista
    • Illustrated Children’s Book
  • Patrick Grzelewski, New York City Roaster
    • Silkscreen press
  • Cristina Vazquez de Mercado, Seattle barista
    • Short horror film anthology
  • Blake Hooper and Bret Woelfel, Portland production
    • “Dungeons and Dragons” podcast
  • Richard La, Santa Fe senior lead
    • Ceramics studio time and classes
  • Kimberly Rolfs, West Eighth barista
    • Second season of “Life or Death, Basically” web series
  • Tonya Sorenson, payroll/HR administrator
    • Gardening greenhouse
  • Gordon Ashworth, Chicago barista
    • International music record label and related projects

Stumptown is excited to support the projects of its team members and hopes to share their projects on their website soon!

About Ashley Rodriguez 413 Articles
Ashley is the Online Editor for Barista Magazine. She's based in Chicago. If you want to share a story or have a comment, you can reach her at