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Bruce Miller, CEO of Pilot Coffee Roasters

In this series, we take a look at the amazing work being accomplished by members of our community. These are the game-changers, the inspirational leaders, and the passion-driven individuals who are changing our community, our health and our planet.

Q. Introduce yourself: tell us who you are and what you do.

A. Hello! My name is Bruce Miller and I am honoured to be the CEO of Pilot Coffee Roasters. In my role I work very closely with our team members and partners to share our passion for Direct Trade specialty coffee and bring our company’s vision to life.

Q. Tell us a little bit about Pilot Coffee Roasters & how the story began?

A. Andy Wilkin and Jessie Holmes founded Pilot Coffee Roasters in 2009. Located in Leslieville, the company was built to share our values of sourcing ethical, Direct Trade coffee and building transparency in the process from farm to cup. From the beginning, we have been a full-service specialty coffee roaster, specialty cafe, equipment supplier, educator and wholesale consulting service for like-minded cafe owners.

By 2013 we moved the roastery to our current headquarters, and in 2014, we were named Micro Roaster of the Year by Roast Magazine.

Today, we continue to share our passion for Direct Trade specialty coffee, and a commitment to quality remains at the heart of everything we do.

Q. Where is Pilot Coffee sourced from & how did you find the first “perfect green bean”?

A. To find the “perfect green bean” we work in close partnership with coffee producers in the world’s finest growing regions; most commonly in Central America, South America and East Africa. These direct relationships provide full transparency between roaster and producer. We visit each farm and see the growing and working conditions first hand to understand the complex factors that make each coffee special – from the varietal, to the climate, to the skill and care of the farmer.

Q. Impact has had the pleasure of partnering with Pilot Coffee Roasters to fuel our customers every day. What is most important to Pilot when it comes to building partnerships?

Whether you are a coffee producer, cafe customer or wholesale partner, we do our best to maintain the same philosophy: it's about building direct relationships, creating mutual benefit, and a shared understanding of each other's needs. Those values have led us to incredible partners, like Impact Kitchen, for the last 13 years.

Q. In your time with Pilot, what are you most proud of to date?

Over the last year we have made incredible progress coming off a difficult two years. We’ve opened three new cafes, met new Direct Trade partners in Costa Rica, and strengthened our relationships with incredible partners like Impact Kitchen. We are reaching new specialty coffee lovers every day, and it has been such a joyful experience.

Q. Building on the continuous momentum Pilot has seen, what are you looking forward to most?

In the short term, I am looking forward to my upcoming trip to Huila, Colombia to visit Direct Trade partner, Chalo Fernandez. He operates Las Palmas farm, and it will be my first time visiting him with the team.

Q. Impacting the community is important to Impact & our partners, what does ‘community’ mean to you & the team at Pilot?

Community is really at the heart of specialty coffee. We even have a signature blend named after it! To us, community is local, national and global. Our local cafe customers who visit everyday, and local partners who share our coffees. The national specialty coffee industry who create community through education, events and make Canada an international hotspot. And our global coffee producing partners, who make everything we do possible.

Q. How do you strive to make an Impact every day?

Excellent customer service and superior coffee quality. Two areas that are fundamental to our success and our values, so we never take a day off.

Start enjoying unlimited Pilot Coffee with Impact's Coffee Subscription for only $19.95 per month



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