Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sailor's Brew Coffee
Meet The Veteran Behind This Black-Owned Coffee Brand
Pasadena, California native Trévon Sailor has enjoyed coffee since he was a kid in middle school. One of his favorite before school delights, Sailor would often stop by the local corner store to grab a bottled iced coffee.
As an adult, he carried that love into the four years he served in the U.S. Army, as an Airborne Ranger with the 82nd Airborne Division.
“During my deployments as an Army Ranger, I drank a lot of coffee,” Trévon Sailor, founder of Sailor’s Brew Coffee told Travel Noire.
Once he was settled back in the Pasadena area, Sailor began spending a lot of time around family friend Kip Rolfe— who happens to be one of the first Black coffee roasters in that area.
“I would go sit down with him every few days to learn the ins and outs of how he got his start in the coffee roasting business. He explained to me how vast the industry was, and that you could make a pretty comfortable living from roasting.”
These conversations with Rolfe peaked Sailor’s interest on getting into the industry as well. He began by playing around with his own cold brew recipes. As he perfected his flavor, he allowed close friends and family members to be his testers, until he got it just right.
In November of 2018, he officially launched Sailor’s Brew Coffee with his younger brothers, Travis and Tevin. The name, an obvious ode to his own last name, also has a nautical influence.
“It’s symbolic for remembering to set your compass on your goals and pushing through, no matter what storms may come.”
Sailor wanted to insure he was bringing his A-game to the business, so he traveled to Colombia and spent about a month expanding his knowledge of coffee.
“As I continued my research, I learned the impact that Ethiopia had on coffee and how most coffee is imported from there,” Sailor explained. “I decided that I would source most of my beans from Ethiopia, too.”
Soon after getting the brand off the ground, he made a connection with a friend of a friend, who’s family happened to own their own coffee farm in Ethiopia. He partnered with them for one of his roasts.
In addition to featuring 4 roast profiles sourced from Ethiopia, Sailor also uses Jamaica Blue Mountain— a premium coffee roast. He plans to bring in some higher-end Ethiopian blends that will rotate every quarter.
A large part of the Sailor’s Brew mission is its giveback efforts. This month, the brand is donating 10% of select sales to the Wounded Warrior Project. At the top of 2021, Sailor will begin partnering with local nonprofits in his area.
For now, Sailor’s Brew ships worldwide and you can catch them around the Pasadena area at pop-ups and other events. The brand also offers a variety of merchandise including coffee mugs, coffee canisters, and apparel.
Sailor and his team will soon roll out an app that will push motivational content out to subscribers, while also serving as an easier way to purchase your Sailor’s Brew favorites.