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Summer Series - Heart Coffee Roasters

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It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, coffee is always on the agenda. In Portland, Oregon there is one Café that you shouldn’t skip: Heart Roasters on 2211 E Burnside St. From roasting their own coffee to creating a great place to hangout, Heart has you covered. We sat down with CEO of Heart Roasters Rebekah Yli-Luoma to talk about what summer is like at the popular café...

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Firstly, tell us a little bit about what you do at Heart Coffee Roasters? 

Currently, I am the CEO of Heart Roasters, the overseer of all operations you can call it. My role quickly evolved as the company grew and changed.

When was Heart Coffee Roasters created? 

Wille Yli-Luoma formed Heart Coffee Roasters in 2009, with the idea of creating a café with good coffee where people could hangout. Heart now has two cafés in Portland and sells coffee wholesale at select retailors in North America.

In Portland, coffee is a year-round affair, though the atmosphere of the cafés must change a great amount in the summer. What kind of music are you playing to pair with the pleasurable summer mood? 

We encourage the baristas to choose the music at the café and they generally know the vibe or style of music they should be playing. If I could only use one word to describe the music in the summer, it would be ‘breezy’.

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Is there a popular drink at the café when summer hits? 

People love our cold brew. It took us a long time to perfect our cold brew to ensure we were giving our customers the best on the market. Now it has become a staple drink when those hot summer days hit.

Sunshine brings many outdoor festivals in Portland. Are there any events you are looking forward to this summer? 

To be honest we are so busy with Heart, I haven’t even had time to look at who is playing. Heart is both a café and a wholesale coffee-roasting brand. Right now, the team is working on slow and smart growth, which keeps us very busy.

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Starting a successful brand must be a round-the-clock job. What do you do when you find yourself with a precious day off? 

We go to the Gorge, a lot. I would say we go to the Gorge more then the Coast. The Gorge is beautiful, hiking, biking, and just taking time to enjoy the outdoors. Other then the that, we BBQ.

Grilling definitely is one of our favorite activities of summer. Do you have any killer BBQ recipes you can share? 

We are into grilling; I would say we are year round BBQ enthusiasts. My favorite thing to cook is skirt steak. Skirt steak has the perfect amount of fat, which makes the meat perfectly tender. We simply season the steak with some pepper, olive oil, and finishing salt. Other then steak, I marinate chicken thighs quiet often. My go-to marinade is maple syrup. I use maple syrup on almost anything.

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We were told that there is a Heart Roasters futsal team called the ‘Heartbreakers’ can you tell us a little more about the soccer team? 

Employees of Heart have been playing on a co-ed Futsal team for about a year now. Eight months ago, they created a second team in the men’s league called The Heartbreakers. The Heartbreakers play a game of futsal weekly at the Rose City Futsal club, it has been really fun.