our roots in the montana wilderness
Before Coffee Traders became the booming business it is today, it started small, in a wood cabin nestled in the Montana wilderness. RC found an old roaster with five bags of green beans, and tired of bad coffee, began his quest to create the best cup of coffee in the world.
One year later, Montana Coffee Traders was born in Whitefish, Montana. Working out of a farmhouse, RC sold firewood and coffee to his friends and neighbors. For the first three years, more firewood was sold than coffee, but it wasn’t long before word got out. Eventually, MCT expanded to service the entirety of Glacier National Park and its surrounding areas, even expanding to Moscow. Montanans continue to flock to Coffee Traders’ shops around the state to warm up after a long ski, or to meet up with friends and family for a good chat over good coffee.
Meeting coffee at its source
In 1990, RC decided to trace coffee back to its source, and planned a trip to Monteverde, Costa Rica. During his visit he met with Carlos Vargas, the manager of a coffee-producing co-op called Santa Elena. At the time, coffee in the Monteverde region was bought at discounted prices by one person, and sold to the government. Very few of the farmers had ever tasted their own coffee. Fortunately, RC carried a small hot-air roaster with him on all of his travels, so he offered to roast some of their green coffee beans. The result was an amazing cup of coffee worth far more than what the farmers were told.
Having read about the fair-trade movement in Europe, RC offered to buy some of their green coffee at a price much higher than usual, along with the benefit of giving a dollar back to the farm for each pound sold. This established one of the first fair-trade relationships in the United States, and began a lifelong friendship between RC and Carlos.
From one home, to another
In the early 90s, RC moved back to Texas and married his childhood sweetheart, Beth. Beth and RC opened Texas Coffee Traders in 1994. Since then, we have grown to serve hundreds of restaurants and coffeehouses in the Central Texas area. We are proud to be the first SCA Education Campus in the state of Texas.