The TriBeCa Coffee story is not as much a tale as it is an adventure that has lasted more than two decades. Dale Mazon arrived in South Africa in 1996, a trained Barista with a Business Degree and a keen desire to start his own business – which he did in Pretoria Central for a while, until he met Martin Fitzgerald in 1997. Martin, having experimented in the coffee and restaurant business whilst working as an Accountant by day had expansive ideas of his own and so the adventure began.
The two young entrepreneurs would go on to create a small group of unique and diverse coffee houses and one of the most successful coffee roasteries in the country. In a relentless drive to succeed, it always takes hard work, vision, and purpose. Martin and Dale embodied these qualities.
The coffee roastery began in 2002 in Bloubokkie Street, Koedoespoort in a 180m² space, a 17 kg Sivetz Roaster and a some of the most entrepreneurial minds and dedicated collaborators who believed that we were at the heart of a unique journey. Martin had always expressed an interest in exploring coffee, I am not sure that he knew at the time how intricate and exploratory the idea would become.
With an enormous amount of hard work and a little bit of luck they shaped what is now known as TriBeCa Coffee Co. If we were to give you a visual timeline of the past, you would see our Directors – Martin and Dale – roasting coffee, packing boxes, loading, and off-loading at destination; whatever it took to create and cultivate this unique brand, nothing has changed. That same fundamental group of colleagues are still together, driving the business forward.
In 2015 Ernst Penzhorn, who has always had a guiding influence on the team, stepped into the ring as CEO and mentor, bringing with him a wealth of knowledge, experience, and insight. Our Gandalf if you will!
Inspiration and Innovation is what has kept TriBeCa at the forefront of the coffee industry, our factories are streamlined and uncluttered, equipped with the most advanced coffee roasters, process innovation, training programs, quality assurance labs and skilled individuals that share in common objectives.
In 2009 Martin and Dale embarked on their bid to summit Mount Kilimanjaro a feat they accomplished in honour of the farmers who supply our coffee. Our roots with Tanzania and its people run deep as does our commitment to internal diversity, our global community impact and sustainable relationships with our farmers, vendors, staff, and clients which have allowed us to grow into the business we are today.
Martin and Dale have inspired a team of totally committed and knowledgeable people, who would die in a ditch before this adventure is deemed to be complete.
Coffee is a complex and beautiful product. It is said that it takes 200 man hours to make one cup of coffee.
Think about that, a lot of people collectively spent 200 hours making you your cup of coffee this morning!
It all starts at a farm. We source our coffee from various farms around the world. Each farm in each country is unique and it is up to us to find and celebrate that uniqueness.
Relationships and adventure are the cornerstones of our farm visits, developing a better understanding of the challenges that the farmers face but also developing a better understanding of who they are as individuals.
All of the places that coffee grows best are outstandingly beautiful and often remote. To get to these places requires a sense of adventure and a bit of flying by the seat of your pants which is in turn rewarded with delicious coffee, spectacular views and some of the best people on earth.
Coffee is said to contain approximately 850 aromatic and flavour compounds where wine only has about 200.
To reveal these compounds the coffee must be skillfully roasted as the coffee releases the sugars, gasses and oils. To do this can be as easy as putting the coffee on a pan on a stove but to truly master the art and craft you need some of the best technology in the world. Divided between a few roasting machines we have acquired the best coffee roasters that flavour roast the coffee to perfection, consistently.
While it is true that coffee roasting is a skill that can be taught it is also a craft that must be honed for hundreds of hours before one can truly call themselves a master roaster. We have the privilege of having a team of master roasters working on producing the finest roast possible.
Coffee has 4 main enemies —
UV light, Heat, Moisture and Oxygen.
Our packaging is designed to to be a barrier to all of these foes. The triple laminate foil with a one way valve allows the coffee to breath out but not in and that makes all the difference when keeping the product fresh. We have a team of dedicated people who want to get your coffee to you as fresh and as delicious as possible.
With a stable of world champion baristas we don’t only follow the world barista standard, we set it.