Hi there! We’re Sara Gibson and Kimberly Zash. We love coffee, kittens, and a good dad joke. We’re goofy people, but there are a few things we’re serious about:
- Coffee should be delicious. We source high-quality, fresh-crop coffee from exceptional farms and co-ops and then dial in our roasts and blends to create appealing flavor profiles that you’ll want to drink all day long.
- Coffee should be impact-driven. Coffee has a colonial history that's driven abusive supply chain practices for far too long. It’s why Americans get mad about paying “too much” for coffee and why coffee farmers - the vast majority of whom are in developing nations - have a hard time making a living. Around 44% of smallholder coffee farmers live below the international poverty line, earning less than $3.20 per day (source). By working with responsible importers and producers and paying more-than-Fair-Trade prices for the coffees we buy, we’re working to ensure that farmers can provide for their families and build a sustainable future in coffee.
- Coffee should be representational. As a women- and queer-owned company, we understand that representation matters. Inclusion and validation come from seeing ourselves reflected in an industry, at a place of business, or on a team. Sightseer is dedicated to empowering marginalized peoples (e.g., those who identify as queer, BIPOC, disabled, and/or low-income) through vendor selection, educational opportunities, and employment.
- Coffee should be sustainable. Climate change is real, and it’s coming for our coffee. According to a 2014 study, about 50% of the land suitable for growing coffee could disappear by 2050. We choose to partner with producers, importers, and vendors who invest in environmental initiatives. We also strive to make earth-friendly choices in our roasting and packaging, and as we grow we will continue to challenge ourselves to do more.
- We are a feminist enterprise. We're deeply committed to building gender equity in the coffee industry. While women typically make up about 70% of the manual labor force on coffee farms, they are often shut out of decision-making and ownership. By sourcing exclusively from women producers and co-ops, we’re helping women stake their claim in the industry. When women are able to make business decisions, they "typically invest more of their earnings in their families and communities than men. When they have control over their productive assets and incomes, their families and communities benefit with access to better food, education and health care." (source). Land and people prosper—and you, my friend, get a damn fine cup of coffee.
The Austin Chronicle: Sightseer Sets Their Sights on Sustainability
Austin Monthly Magazine: Best of ATX Coffee Roaster: Sightseer Coffee
Austin Woman: Sightseer Coffee, A Roast for All
U3 Coffee: Interview with Kristi Ross
Imbibe Magazine: Imbibe 75: Sightseer Coffee Roasters
Daily Coffee News: Austin’s Sightseer Coffee Launches with a Vision to Empower Women in Coffee
Daily Coffee News: 22 New US Coffee Roasters in 2022