About Rocky Butte Coffee Roasters

We provide ethically-sourced, specialty beans to coffee enthusiasts; businesses in Portland, Oregon; and community-minded people around the US. Our home subscribers receive freshly-roasted coffee at their front door before they run out, shipped out every Thursday. We invite you to become part of our story as we continue to grow from a small roasting company with one espresso bar to beyond — continuing to create places for neighbors to connect and enjoy their best cup of coffee and build community.

~ The Rocky Butte Coffee Roasters Team


James - Owner and Founder of Rocky Butte Coffee Roasters
Meet James
Owner and founder of Rocky Butte Coffee Roasters, James was born in Lincoln City, Oregon. In 2005, after a stint in the military, he and his wife Sheryl brought their children, Seth and Lily, to the Rocky Butte neighborhood of Portland while James pursued an MBA at Concordia University. After years of associating coffee with a stale, burnt taste, James and Sheryl spent some time learning to brew their favorite cup of coffee. Deeply passionate about their community, James began to see coffee as a vehicle for relationship, a reason to get together—and so, the concept of “People, Place, Coffee” was born. James started Rocky Butte Coffee Roasters in 2017 roasting small batches of beans in his garage and hand-delivering bags to neighbors. Small batches in a garage were great, but as the workload increased, roasting at a commercial roastery became the only way to sustain the future growth of the business. With that growth, the Rocky Butte Espresso Bar opened in 2020 on NE Fremont St, and despite the difficulties the pandemic presented, has thrived and brought people together. If you stop by, there’s a chance you’ll see James behind the counter serving espresso.



Meet Lily

Lily, Rocky Butte Coffee’s very own Operations and Production Manager, deserves our undying gratitude, as she is the one behind the sourcing, roasting, bagging, and delivery of every one of our coffee beans. When she was little, Lily’s first sips of coffee tasted like mud, and she only enjoyed it in the form of mochas from a certain franchise of small, wind-milled kiosks. However, after helping her dad at farmer’s markets, and taking sips of the cold brew to make sure it was mixed correctly, she began to acquire a taste. Now, her favorite way to drink one of our quality roasts at home is black, though she will make herself a caramel latte at the espresso bar if she’s asked to cover a shift.

Lily was born in Landstuhl, Germany in 2001 while her father, owner and founder James, served in the army. Despite her exotic birth, Lily is a true Rocky Butte neighborhood native, living in the same house since she was four years old. As a result of her parents’ emphasis on community involvement, Lily has grown up with a focus on living hyper locally, knowing and helping the people next to you. Her dream is to use those principles through Rocky Butte Coffee Roasters to find more ways to bring neighbors together—maybe a combo espresso bar and comic book store.