Community Spotlight · Marigold Coffee, Portland, OR
A dozen years ago, Cole Werfelman started working at the South Store Café, a small restaurant and espresso bar in her rural hometown of Scholls, Oregon. Not after landing the job, she was asked to work as a barista at the café—a request that would send her life in a new direction. “I never knew when they asked me to be a barista that my life would change,” Cole says now, “and I would start my coffee career. When I first started, I thought, ‘Beans and water, how hard can that be?’ I was wrong.”
Cole quickly became entwined in the specialty-coffee world: attending events, volunteering at competitions, and most importantly, building a community. “I met the people that would help me grow and learn more of what a coffee career could be,” she says.
In the years that followed, Cole took as many opportunities as she could to further her coffee career, including working as a traveling barista with several companies, learning how to roast coffee, and traveling internationally to work at a café and learn more about the beverage. “I am always wanting to gain more education about coffee and what it could be,” she says. “I am not just talking about the drink itself.”
These days, Cole’s main coffee job is with Portland’s Marigold Coffee, a women-owned and women-roasted coffee company, where she roasts coffee alongside Marigold’s head roaster. “I am learning more here than I ever have,” Cole says. “They give me the freedom to experiment with the coffee and even have me involved in the green buying process.”
Marigold roasts its coffee at Buckman Coffee Factory—a toll-roasting facility also owned by the team at Marigold—which allows Cole to constantly talk coffee while doing her job. “I love that I get to be around so many other coffee professionals and talk nerdy,” she says. “Roasting is my favorite part of working in coffee. Just me, the roaster, the beans, and all the nerdy science that I get to play with.”
Cole and Pacific Foods share a common home in the Portland area, which has allowed Cole to develop a long-term relationship with the company behind the Barista Series™ brand. “I don’t think there has ever been a time when I wasn’t around Pacific,” she says. “I remember being amazed to learn how much goes into making a quality product that so many people use.”
Cole has worked on the development of several Barista Series™ plant-based beverages, lending her crucial insight to help improve the product. “In my first product evaluation, myself and other baristas stood around a table and talked about what we thought of the products to the scientists that developed them,” she says. “I love being invested with these products from start to finish and watching how baristas from around the States influence them.”