Heritage Coffee Roasting Company was built on a simple mission – to bring great tasting, freshly-roasted coffee to the Juneau community. Our founder, Grady Saunders, began his love affair with coffee in the San Francisco Bay area during the late 60’s, when at dinner parties he and friends would share in the coffee-making ritual by passing a manual coffee grinder around the table after dinner.
As fan and friend of Peet’s coffee & tea, he tasted and learned about coffee until it was in his blood, so to speak. After some world traveling and tasting coffee along the way (espresso in Italy being the high point) he ended up in Juneau only to find no palatable coffee options. A call to Alfred Peet of Peet’s coffee & tea changed his life, and Juneau’s coffee landscape forever.
Mr. Peet declined selling coffee to Grady, stating it would not be fresh enough if shipped from California. He did, though, suggest that Grady call a little start-up coffee company in Seattle who might be able to help. That little start-up was Starbucks, and Heritage’s extensive history in Juneau has been written from there. Quaffs Coffee & Tea opened on Nov 1, 1974 upstairs in the Emporium Mall, selling coffee beans shipped from Seattle out of large olive jars collected from the taverns on South Franklin street.
“A freshly brewed cup of coffee can warm a cold morning, cure the afternoon blahs, and provide a happy ending to a wonderful dinner. Friendships are nurtured over coffee, business deals are consummated to the sound of clinking cups and life is revitalized.”