Hinterland underwent a big sea change about a year ago. We cut our teeth as a small business starting in 2013 on screen printing: putting stuff we wanted to wear - our quirky and irreverent original designs - on American-made t-shirts. As the business grew, we branched out to other so-called 'soft goods' as well as stickers, accessories and artist-made housewares and jewelry. In 2017 our friend at Neon Raspberry Art Gallery invited us to share space in their charming brick n’ mortar on the main drag of tiny, picturesque Occidental, CA. Online retail was still our bread and butter but the store provided the conviviality and sense of community we craved. The more folks came to visit the shop, the more we wanted them to stay, to linger and talk and dream and organize for various causes together. That sort of organic, communal experience seemed to favor two types of establishments: bars and cafés. We’re morning people, so...coffee it was.
Aside from the community component, we’re also fervent environmentalists and avid second-hand shoppers. Everything we read and saw spoke to the fact that there’s just too much stuff in the world, particularly in the apparel segment. From carbon emissions and water used in production, to the difficulty of disposing of the ever-growing mountains of last year’s trends, the garment industry is taking its toll on the environment. An immediate and personal solution we saw was taking the focus off of apparel within our little company and shifting it towards consumables. As far as things that can be used up go, coffee was and continues to be our favorite: a true raison d'être and certainly the most enticing lure away from a warm bed on a chilly morning. We’ve also all worked in the coffee industry in various capacities and so understand how very uncomplicated (not to mention needlessly snooty and obfuscated) it truly is. Coffee is simple: source an excellent bean, roast it to a desired level controlling for certain environmental factors (okay, this part is a little complicated), and boom, you got yourself the makings of an excellent cuppa joe.
We’ve got that part down: following the most ethical sourcing practices and roasting micro-batches on our trusty 2 lb roaster, one order at a time. Subscriptions and one-off online sales, as well as the limited retail space we’ve been able to get off the ground in December of 2020 have kept our tiny team afloat in stormy waters, but the dream is much bigger, much more outwardly oriented: we want to create a café for you, for all of us. The deeply hopeful future we envision for this rad old 1914 structure is one of an egalitarian space of belonging. More than just a place to grab a quick stimulant fix, we want to provide a place for good folx to gather, a place where the money stays within a community of shared ethics and common goals. Every bag of coffee you choose to purchase from us gets us one step closer to that hopeful future. We thank you for believing in our vision, for joining our journey and for being a member of what’s congealing into a really amazing and deeply radical family.
The Hinterland Crew
Contributions made here by either Trinia, Georgia or Alex.