Our Northwest

SBC co-founder still roasting in Snohomish

Friday, October 4, 2013by  Jon Osterberg

The man who co-founded Seattle’s Best Coffee continues to blend and roast.
   Vista Clara Coffee Co. of Snohomish, Wash., emits a rich, hearty aroma into the air, and Dave Stewart is the man at the controls.
   Stewart and his brother, Jim, began roasting coffee in 1970 at Wet Whiskers stores in Coupeville and Seattle, then saw their avocation evolve into Stewart Brothers Coffee, renamed Seattle’s Best Coffee in 1991.
   In 2003, Starbuck’s bought SBC.
   It was a sad day for my family when we learned of the sale in April 2003. With our kids on spring break from high school, we enjoyed a delightful family road trip to the Southwest.
   After visiting Meteor Crater in Arizona we simply had to make the side trip off Interstate 40 to downtown Winslow, immortalized in the 1972 Eagles hit “Take It Easy.” We took turns posing by a bronze statue (patterned after the song’s co-writer, Jackson Browne) of a young man “standin’ on a corner” with guitar in hand.
  Across the street, we spied a Seattle’s Best Coffee shop. Woo-hoo! We’d been aching for decent coffee the entire trip.
   When we went inside and ordered our drinks, our mood soured. The barista said just that morning they’d been told that Starbuck’s had struck a deal to buy SBC.
   Yet 10 years later, Dave Stewart continues to chase his roasting dream, in Snohomish. Read the Everett Herald story.

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