Appalachian Coffee Company is a local, independent coffee retailer specializing in the preparation of fast, convenient coffee of the highest quality at a fair price.
Grounds for Doing Good
Our mission is to provide great coffee as we care for people, creation, and community.
At Appalachian Coffee Company there is only one thing that we care about more than coffee: our friends and neighbors to whom we have honor to serve it. We believe that good cup of coffee is a whole lot more than just a hot drink to jump-start your day. It’s a daily ritual, it’s a place to tap into community, and it’s our chance to give a little joy to the people we encounter each day. That's how coffee allows us to do what we love: care for people, creation, and community.
Fair Trade Certified
We take seriously the idea of community and so we are very conscious of our international community that grows and supplies the raw coffee that we eventually serve to our dear customers. We are proud that every bean brewed at Appalachian Coffee Company is Fair Trade Certified. Unlike many coffee retailers, you can be confident that every coffee from Appalachian Coffee Co pays a fair wage to each person on the trail of our coffee - from farmer to barista. Our coffee is exchanged at a fair price at every step of its journey from seed to your cup so no one -- from farmer to exporter to roaster to executive to barista -- is exploited for their labor.
We take seriously our responsibility to do business in ways that are healthy for the planet. Our coffee is USDA Certified Organic. Coffee as an organic ingredient is produced in accordance with the strict standards of the USDA. We pay top dollar for our beans so that we can rest easy in the knowledge that our coffee was cultivated in a manner that does not expose the plant, the soil in which it grows, the water that collects the run off, and the farmer who cultivates the plants to any toxic chemicals. That means the customer who drinks the coffee can rest easy in the knowledge that the only thing in their cup is the highest quality organic coffee and fresh filtered water. Rest easy once the caffeine wears off, that is!
David Schnitzer, Owner
David is man of many projects: coffee company owner, Director of Camp Kanuga, budding Georgia real estate developer, and amateur blacksmith. He and his wife, Colleen, have three sons and have lived in Hendersonville since 2012. The Schnitzers just celebrated 14 years of marriage this September!
Luke Costlow, General Manager
Luke is a NOBO thru-hiker of the Appalachian Trail class of 2012, an Eagle Scout, a husband, a gardener, and a lover of coffee! Luke moved from Indiana to WNC in 2013. He and his wife, Macon met during their thru-hikes and were married at Kanuga Conference Center, a place dear to both, in April 2016.
As stewards of creation, we do our best to minimize the negative impact our business could have on the environment, and do the hard work or putting good back into the earth. We compost as much of our spent coffee grounds as our modest compost system can handle. We encourage our customers to invest in quality steel mugs that can be re-filled indefinitely and steel straws for drinking cold drinks to reduce the number of one-time-use, “disposable" cups, lids, and straws that sadden us to send out into the world destined eventually for a landfill. We are committed to reducing the waste our business generates through the production and service of our products, re-using durable equipment that lasts for years, and recycling everything possible of the waste we inevitably do create.
- Encourage and incentivize customers to bring reusable cups and straws.
- Order and store only what we need
- Buy food locally to reduce shipping related resource consumption
- Sell all of our our delicious beans (both ground and whole bean) bagged for retail for folks to prepare at home.
- Using minimal heating, cooling, electricity, and water in our shops.
- Composting of spent coffee grounds turned into organic soil for gardens.
- The buildings that now house or shops stood empty and unproductive for decades. Now provide jobs, amenities, and bolsters the local economy.
- Cup Sleeves are made of 60% recycled material with 40% being post-consumer. They are also compostable.
- ECOProducts hot cups cups are 24% post-consumer recycled material, BPA free, and petroleum free
- ECOProducts cold cups are made from 25% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles.
- We encourage our customers who do not take advantage of our discount for using reusable cups to dispose of their waste properly by putting it into the Henderson County Recycle system and Transylvania County Recycle system.
- We generate only one, not-completely-full, kitchen-size bag of non-recyclable trash per day. Everything else is rinsed and recycled.
As members of our communities, we believe that our friends and neighbors deserve a place where they can rely on a convenient cup of coffee of the highest quality at a fair price. And we believe that the people brewing and serving that coffee should be engaged and attentive to the people we are fortunate enough to have stopping by to experience our shops. We believe that just because we serve high-quality coffee and espresso doesn’t mean that we should be snooty about it. You’ll always find an engaged, attentive, and courteous barista who wants nothing more than to serve you a good drink, get to know you better, and be a bright spot in your day. If haven’t yet learned your name, please remind us! Nothing gives us more joy than seeing someone’s face brighten when they are greeted by name and asked “Mornin’! Gonna be usual today?”
We believe in adventure at Appalachian Coffee Company. Coffee is part of the ritual of rising with the sun and heading out into the world. Sometimes we head for the top of a distant mountain or the heart of a deep, old forest. Sometimes it’s out to a river, calm for fishing on a foggy summer morning or rapid and energetic paddling with the flow. Most often, however, it’s the daily adventure of life where we work, interact with our families friends and neighbors, and go about the beautiful routines of our lives. We cherish hearing the adventures of the folks we see each day: from fun and exciting news like a recent hike, a trip abroad, or a promotion at work -- to the hard human stuff too like a visit with a sick friend, the loss of something cherished or a tough day at the office. We’ll make the coffee and keep lovin’ y’all if y’all keep us part of your day.
Respect is a core value for our company. This respect is especially tuned to the people who dedicate themselves to working within our business. At all times our team are considered, dignified, and appreciated for the invaluable asset that is their labor. The goodness of the individual is our cardinal criterion for hiring, so our employee training is built upon the foundation of each team member's own unique strengths and personality. We extend the same radical hospitality to our team as we do to our customers. Each of us is unique, each is worthwhile, each has inherent objective value. We find people who are caring, interesting, dedicated, pleasant, joyful, and radically hospitable and teach them how to be part of our company. We help people grow into the best versions of themselves -- never attempt to mold them into some standardized "ideal" employee that's just another cog in the machine. In keeping with this philosophy, our staff are encouraged to be as personal, familiar, and open with our customers as they see fit. We have baristas who are artists and make incredible paintings and prints. Others are great writers with wonderful blogs and punlications. Many of our baristas are travelers who have seen amazing places and met fascinating people all over the world. We love sharing our adventures with you as much as we enjoy hearing yours.
Truly, we take joy in handing a neighbor a cup of fresh, delicious, earth-friendly coffee served with a smile. If we could, we wouldn't charge a dime for it! However, we wouldn't be able to stay in business long if every cup was free, so we instituted a "buy -10-get-1-free" program called the "Thru-Punch Card" to show our appreciation to the people who stop by regularly.
We'll give you a card and every time you buy a cup of coffee, we'll punch a hole thru it. Once you get ten holes in the card, the next one's on us! Any drink, and size, any crazy add-on-extra-flavor-extra-shot-double-whipped cream drink your heart desires. It means the world to us that people love us enough to come back time and again. We're proud to punch your card and we love giving you that free drink.
Our "Thru-Punch Card" features the Appalachian Trail running over 2000 miles from Georgia to Maine. Every punch thru the card is reminiscent of a milestone along a "thru-hike" of the Appalachian Trail. They say it takes 5,000,000 steps to thru-hike the entire AT (and a few of the thru-hiker members of our staff can attest to that). However, it only takes 10 cups to get one free at Appalachian Coffee Company, so we feel like that's a pretty fair compromise.