Stumptown Coffee Launches Skate Team

The Portland, Ore.-based roaster will release an accompanying short film about the new Skate Team, as well as a coffee highlighting the coffee-skateboarding collaboration.

BY CHRIS RYAN
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE

Photos courtesy of Stumptown Coffee

Almost 20 years ago, Tim Wenzel started working as a barista at Stumptown Coffee, a then-12-person company in Portland, Ore. A longtime skateboarder, Tim found that not only did many of his coworkers share his skating passion, but that skating and those days of specialty coffee held certain similarities. “When I started skating in 1989, it was looked down upon,” Tim says. “It felt rad, kinda like how when I first started at Stumptown. Stumptown was a bunch of freaks doing something totally different and against the grain—hard to believe that now, but it’s true.”

Back then, Tim and his Stumptown coworkers would regularly daydream about starting a skating arm of Stumptown. “We always joked over the years, ‘Wouldn’t it be rad if we had a skate team?!’” Tim says.

Fast forward to 2019, and that fantasy has become a reality: Stumptown recently announced their four-person Skate Team, composed of pro skateboarders Chet Childress, Silas Baxter Neal, Nick Boserio, and Elissa Steamer. Not surprisingly, the Skate Team is the brainchild of Tim Wenzel, who now works as Stumptown’s in-house creative producer.

Tim Wenzel (second from right) with the members of the newly formed Stumptown Skate Team: (from left) Nick Boserio, Chet Childress, Silas Baxter Neal, and Elissa Steamer.

The Skate Team coincides with Stumptown recently becoming a B Corporation, a certification for companies that use business as a force for good. “Stumptown’s Skate Team is one of the many ways Stumptown invests in their employee culture, one of the tenants of certification,” according to a press release. “The Skate Team is a creative way to showcase their employees’ passions and celebrate their community.”

Tim says he worked with his longtime friend Jon Humphries, a photographer, videographer, and fellow skater, to select the four members of the Skate Team. “Chet Childress was a no-brainer because he has been a long time Stumptown regular that has been hyping our coffee for over 10 years now,” Tim says. “Silas Baxter Neal is a homegrown skater who lives here in Portland and is just a ripping skater with a very decorated history.  He too has been down with Stumptown for many years.”  

Tim continues: “Nick Boserio is just such a fun dude to have around, funny as hell, heart of gold, and destroys everything in his path. And lastly, Elissa Steamer is just a legend and an honor to have on the team. She is chill as hell and has one of the sickest styles ever, drinks a ton of coffee, and rounds out the team PERFECTLY!”

To further showcase the new Skate Team, Stumptown is releasing Breaking the Crust, a 20-minute short film made by Tim in collaboration with Jon Humphries and Kurt Hayashi. According to the press release, “The goal with the film is to showcase skate culture through professional skaters’ perspectives and to tap into each skater’s personalities with interviews and skits throughout, giving a glimpse into a lesser-known side of each team member.”

The launch of the Skate Team coincides with Stumptown becoming a B Corporation; the team is a way for the company to invest in their employee culture, which is one of the tenants of certification.

To coincide with the Skate Team launch, Stumptown is releasing both a whole-bean and cold-brew offering that highlights the collaboration between Stumptown and their Skate Team. The beans were produced by El Jordan growers and sourced by longtime Stumptown partners (and fellow B Corp) Caravela Coffee. The bag design was created by Stumptown Skate Team member Chet Childress; $1 for every bag and can sold will be donated to the following skateboarding nonprofits chosen by Stumptown employees: Skate Like a Girl, Exposure Skate, and the Harold Hunter Foundation.

With the Skate Team now launched, Tim Wenzel is very excited for the new initiative that recognizes the longtime passion of so many Stumptown employees. “I wanted to do something that hadn’t been done before and to offer up something good for skateboarding as a whole,” he says. “So many skaters are into coffee now—good coffee—and so I just knew that this would be a rad thing.”

Along with launching a Skate Team, the folks at Stumptown have also made a movie about the group called Breaking the Crust (shown here is a still from it).

Breaking the Crust will be shown via screenings in the coming months; for information on screenings and to view the trailer for Breaking the Crust, head to Stumptown’s website.

About Chris Ryan 236 Articles
Chris Ryan (he/him) is Barista Magazine's online copy editor and a freelance writer and editor with a background in the specialty coffee industry. He has been content director of Sustainable Harvest and the editor of Fresh Cup Magazine.