On Apr. 17, Pilot Coffee Roasters is opening their tenth location at 114 King St. S. in Uptown Waterloo. Pilot Coffee Roasters was founded in 2009 with the goal of introducing specialty coffee in Toronto.  

Bruce Miller, CEO of Pilot Coffee, who was born and raised in Waterloo, said that he considers it an incredible community for expansion. 

“[We are] very excited about expanding. This is actually the first community that we looked at to be able to find a location outside of Toronto,” he said. 

Their mission is to represent a global community of dedicated professionals, dedicated skill and hard work.  

“What direct trade is, we simply have the world’s best coffee,” Miller said. 

Pilot Coffee Roasters is built around the idea of sourcing Direct Trade coffee ethically and being transparent about the process of the coffee from farm to cup. Pilot Coffee’s coffee reflects complex flavours encompassed in the bean, climate, soil, and the care and skill of the farmer who grew it. 

Since 2009, they have opened multiple locations in Toronto and received numerous awards, including a place on the GROWTH 500 list, which is an award for Canada’s fastest-growing companies. 

Pilot works with trusted partners and traces the coffee’s origin through their Direct Trade model. 

This model includes being in direct communication with the farmer and visiting the farm in person, opening up their business to producers and building a mutual understanding of each other’s needs, ensuring that the farmers are also committed to sustainable and ethical practices, and guaranteeing a price that is at least 20 per cent above fair trade.  

He explained how they go to the world’s finest coffee producers and ensure that they have discussions about the pricing so that the farmers are directly making profit. He said that they also reinvest back into communities – for example, they fund education for kids in Catalan de Las Mercedes. 

“That’s direct trade. It’s circular. They give us world class coffee and improve every year, we reinvest back into their communities,” Miller said. 

The Waterloo location includes seasonal coffee offerings, freshly baked goods, retail coffee, brewing gear and a wide range of non-coffee drinks, including craft beers and wines. 

There are also options to purchase their coffee beans on their website, which provides brew guidelines and recipes. 

This article is cross-published on thecord.ca.