Imagined and developed by an adventure-seeking, female-duo whose passion for the great outdoors is matched only by their love for a great tasting cold brew coffee, Wild Barn Coffee was born with a dedicated mission to brew the highest quality coffee created to boost energy, promote overall well being and aid in post-fun activity. Of equal importance to taste, attitude and health, was that the beans must be produced using only forest-friendly methods of coffee production.
A tall order for any coffee company to launch successfully, but one that was achieved by Jenny Verrochi and Alyssa Evans, co-dreamers and founders of Wild Barn Coffee. This Boulder-based coffee company discovered that their dream would become a reality by using a simple formula to achieve its goals and capture them in one ice-cold can that is sugar-free, dairy-free and needing just three simple ingredients:
- Organic Coffee
- Organic Goji Berries
- Organic Cacao Nibs
With all ingredients combined, Wild Barn Coffee delivers a unique flavor profile that is best described by the company’s founders: “It starts with a creamy sip through a frothy nitro head, followed by a whisper of superfood sweetness, and is topped by a bold brew that’s as smooth as the dickens.”
In addition to the distinctive blend and ingredients, it was important that Wild Barn Coffee was more than just a great can of Nitro Cold-Brew, as it was always meant to have a strong connection to those that celebrate the outdoors and adventure. “When I designed the logo, packaging and ultimately the entire can, it was critical that we captured our vision to speak to a new generation of coffee drinkers,” explains Evans. It was exciting to be the person that was able to take our collective vision and literally create a brand that celebrated the lifestyle that we lived every day.”
Featuring beans produced off-grid at a carbon neutral process facility in the Yoro Biological Corridor in Central America, Wild Barn Coffee partners with Cafe Solar to source and secure the beans to formulate their distinct cold can recipe. Sourcing from Café Solar guarantees that each purchase of a Wild Barn Coffee product supports the introduction of solar/biofuel processing and forest-friendly coffee plantations in harmony with tropical forests and the four national parks within the Yoro Biological Corridor.
Currently found in select Colorado based stores and markets, Wild Barn Coffee can be purchased online and shipped in 6 or 12 pack cases.
So how did this unlikely pair come to create a new, forward-thinking coffee company with an adventurous spirit brewed into its DNA? To learn more about Wild Barn Coffee, owners Jenny Verrochi and Alyssa Evans share their insights on their coffee product.
One of the biggest differentiators of your coffee is the ingredients you source. Explain the health benefits of Goji Berries and Cacao Nibs
JV: Cacao Nibs and Goji Berries are loaded with vitamin-rich antioxidants. They are commonly referred to as ‘superfoods’ and they give you energy, promote overall well being, and aid with post-fun recovery. Our recipe is simple with clean, fairly traded ingredients, we feel great about what goes into each can.
What is the meaning behind the name? How’d you come up with it and how did you end up selecting it?
AE: Our story began in a real barn in Massachusetts in 1997 when Jenny’s parents began roasting coffee in their backyard. It was there where her parents founded Red Barn Coffee Roasters. They still roast the beans for every can of cold brew we serve today. Jenny’s love for the outdoors brought her to Colorado where she combined her coffee knowledge and interest to serve the outdoor community together.
JV: When Alyssa came on as co-founder she quickly put her years of package design experience to work. Inspired by our fun loving group of friends, we birthed one hell of a wild brand that’s filling the void. Hence, Wild Barn Coffee, a name Alyssa blurted out while on our way to a crag to climb one evening.
When did you first realize that this could be much more than a side project and could turn into a brand with purpose and meaning?
JV: There is a lack of healthy on the go beverages and most coffees you see on the shelves are filled with additives, dairy, and sugar. My family has been making cold-brew professionally since 1997, I know my recipe is delectable. Alyssa and I saw an opportunity to create our own type of customer within the outdoor space, and make a brand that people could stand behind.
What’s the dynamic between the two of you – how do your backgrounds and personalities play into the success of Wild Barn Coffee?
JV: We’re best friends, neighbors, and when together, two goofy pals who would rather be outside than anywhere else. Alyssa is the jokester for sure, her sense of humor is gut-busting, and you can find her personality in a lot of our copywriting and designs. I’m the networker. I can make a life long friend on a chairlift and create a community anywhere I go. It’s one of my favorite hobbies and is helpful for making connections in our industry. Alyssa enjoys creating and sharing her art with friends, while I enjoy creating and sharing recipes, which is art in another form. Wild Barn is as adventurous and inviting as the people we make it for, and our customers can feel that.
What was the greatest challenge you’ve faced thus far in launching the brand?
AE: Sometimes, it feels like everyday presents a new challenge, but we’ve been leaning into them and learning to pivot along the way. Solving problems and getting crafty on a bootstrap budget is the name of the game! Our biggest obstacle to date has been dealing with trademark issues. Moving forward as Wild Barn Coffee (previously Backcountry Nitro) was a test of our courage, commitment, mental strength, and perseverance. In the end, it made us stronger leaders, taught us how to adapt quickly. We made lemonade with lemons.
Why do you think outdoor enthusiasts have become your initial brand ambassadors and love the coffee so much?
JV: I created a better for you cold-brew recipe specifically for outdoor enthusiasts. It was my way of breaking into the outdoor industry while doing what I know and love. Alyssa brought my vision to life in her packaging. With Alyssa as co-founder we created a brand that exceeded all expectations and original vision. If coffee is connection, Wild Barn is a mountain-high start with your best friends, and a full send into adventure mode.
You are based in Boulder, CO – is there a unique spirit there that has helped you to forge ahead? What does it mean to you to be a “Boulder-based company?”
JV: I earned our first wholesale account on a bluebird day in my snowboard boots with Eldora Mountain Resort. To this day, Eldora is still our largest account and in between coffee deliveries and invoices, I get to take a couple laps and host a meeting on a chairlift. I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of saying “Step into my office,” as I pull up my goggles and make room on the chair.
Beyond the endless outdoor access and like-minded people, they say Boulder is the Silicon Valley for food and beverage. ‘The Boulder Bubble’ is a special place. It is our ideal test market. Given its population of outdoorsy and healthy lifestyle types, we can test new ideas with a friendly group of consumers in the local markets, work out the kinks at low risk, and then take the successes to a more general market beyond Colorado. We have so much support here!
Everyone wants to help and everyone believes in us. Being a Boulder-based company means we work hard, but play harder guilt free!
The coffee category is crowded and there are big players out there—why do you think Wild Barn Coffee will succeed? What will be your niche?
AE: Wild Barn Coffee will succeed because we offer premium superfood infused nitro cold-brew that is made to stoke adventure. While there are big players out there, we proudly offer small batch coffee with a less acidic flavor. We’re a cheeky brand who doesn’t fit the stereotypical mold of most coffee companies and we’re more than okay with that. The fact that we are unapologetically ourselves is our niche.
Do you think the can and branding help to create the connection with your customers? What has been the feedback?
JV: Absolutely, we know our branding is cheeky. It portrays our wild spirit and makes you want to drink it on your way to the mountains, beach, desert, or someone’s backyard. The feedback has been overly positive and Alyssa really achieved the “purple cow” look we wanted. We get emails from strangers cheering us on, customers posting photos of the can, and peeling our label off to stick it on their gear. Seeing someone’s face the first time they see the can is always fun. We get a lot of smiles and that’s what it’s all about.
You both have “coffee roasting” in your backgrounds – did you always know you’d be doing this at some point? How do you think growing up around the business is helping you launch your business?
JV: I grew up with my parents coffee company where they roasted beans in our backyard. Coffee has always been the best part of my day. As corny as it sounds, every sip feels like home. Growing up, and still to this day when I’m back east visiting family, my dad is invariably walking around topping off our mugs. I pocketed ideas and learned from their mistakes. We source our beans from Red Barn Coffee so I am constantly emailing and brainstorming with my father (it’s awesome to have him as a mentor).
Alyssa’s background is in package and design. This isn’t either of our first rodeos, and together our backgrounds birthed one hell of a cheeky brand that we’re really proud of.
As a female-led company, have you been met with hurdles that you didn’t expect or advantages you were happy to find? Do you think your backgrounds are bringing something different to the coffee sector?
JV: It’s no secret the outdoor industry and business world alike have room to improve in the area of gender diversity. We’ve been exploited in several instances, but because we’ve faced some hefty hurdles early on, it’s only fueled our fire and made our skin tougher. The outdoor industry is looking in the mirror right now and Alyssa and I are pursuing the outdoors during a time when women are empowered to establish their voices and create change within a traditionally male-dominated industry. Our love for the outdoors combined with our passion to create diversity in this space unquestionably differentiates ourselves in the coffee sector.
Sustainability and environmental concerns are an important aspect of the company and your own lives – tell me more how you are incorporating these concerns into your brand and coffee development?
AE: Our work starts at the root, with our fairly traded beans. Much of typical coffee processing is energy intensive and fuelled by burning wood from tropical forests. In fact, roughly 3 sq. cm of rainforest is destroyed for each cup of coffee we consume (due to conventional coffee drying methods). We source our beans from Cafe Solar. They’re pioneering solar-dried coffee. It’s the first coffee to be processed using 100% clean, renewable energy from solar panels.
Through our branding we advocate for climate change awareness and do our best to use recycled materials.
What is your ultimate goal for Wild Barn Coffee? Where do you see it in 5 years?
JV: We want to be the beverage of the outdoor industry. Leaders in advocating diversity in the outdoors, and climate change awareness. A subscription-based coffee company would allow Alyssa and I to travel and work remotely, spreading good vibes and cold-brew everywhere! We started this company together to be able to be free to live where we want and spend as much time outside as possible…I think we’re well on our way.