Mike Pilkington on WTTW
Watch our founder Mike Pilkington in Farm to Mug, telling the story of Bridgeport Coffee on WTTW.
“When we first opened, we vented out the basement window at the coffee shop, and I roasted all the coffee that we served at the shop, one pound at a time.”
“Now it’s nine years later and we have 120 wholesale customers and three coffee shops. We’re going to roast 110,000 pounds this year,” Pilkington says.
Now Pilkington visits Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and El Salvador to buy the beans himself, from farmers like Ernesto and Fernando Lima of El Salvador. Pilkington met the brothers when Ernesto’s niece visited his Bridgeport shop, and what started as a small purchase through an importer in 2007 has turned into a long-term relationship with the Lima family.
“When they come here, we go to dinner,” Pilkington says. “When I go there, I go to their home. It’s not just a directly traded coffee; it’s a true relationship coffee.”