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Entrepreneur Magazine – June 2011


Duane Sorenson, the Coffee Connoiseur of Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Duane Sorenson’s first customers gave it to him straight: They loved what he was doing with coffee–but they gave his business a year. This innovator elevated coffee to a level of appreciation on par with gourmet food and fine wine. An inside look at how the company helped launch a culture of coffee aficionados.

That was November 1999, and Sorenson had just quit his head roasting job at Lighthouse Roasters Fine Coffees, bought a 5-kilo coffee roaster for $8,300 (emptying out his savings account) and set up a small roastery and café called Stumptown Coffee Roasters in a run-down area in Southeast Portland, Ore. It was, Sorenson felt, his duty.

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