Our Story

Our Story

Master woodworkers revere the dovetail joint for its craftsmanship, ingenuity and strength of connection.
Dovetail Roasters embodies these same traits. Our partnerships around the world promote unique farming methods to create a deliciously different experience. We cultivate interactive relationships between drinkers and growers with the goal of strengthening communities for generations to come.
We are a coffee joint.
President Adam Reid (left) and CEO Ben Edtl (right) firing the imagination with humor and a great cup of Dovetail Coffee.

President Adam Reid (left) and CEO Ben Edtl (right) firing the imagination with good humor and a deliciously different cup of coffee.

Dovetail was founded in 2008 by passionate coffee enthusiasts Cathy & Chuck Zellmer and Matt Knight. The team was inspired by the strength and uniqueness of the dovetail joint; using that name in reverence.  But the future of Dovetail Coffee changed when Social Entrepreneur, Adam Reid, began developing his own product line, through the roastery, to serve customers at his local cafe in Gresham, Oregon. His goal was to find the most interesting coffees in the world and do it in a way that contributed economic development to the farms and communities he sourced from. In 2016, the Zellmers wanted to retire and offered to sell the small roastery to Adam. 

Adam's obsession for coffee - as well as - his background as an educator and non-profit entrepreneur, fueled a new vision for Dovetail. In November, 2016 he hired his long-time friend and Serial Entrepreneur, Ben Edtl, as CEO. By September, 2017 "A Coffee Joint" was born from the culmination of making deliciously different coffee and selling it for social impact. By connecting growers to drinkers and sales to social responsibility, Dovetail Coffee is truly a coffee joint, where two separate parts of a whole come together to create strength in common bond.  

Did the original team know, in 2008, that the name they chose would mean so much to so many in 2017? Some would call that serendipitous. But we've come to learn that the Universe has its own special way of making connections, even through space and time, all in an effort to make the world a better place. In that aspect, we have followed the original vision. As a Dovetail joint connects two pieces of wood, we want our coffee to connect different parts of the world. With strong connections - through coffee - we aim to bring together local and global communities.  

Roasting Practice
The Dovetail approach to producing deliciously different coffees is leading the so-called “third wave” in the coffee business. We start by finding the world’s most interesting coffees through direct and responsible trade practices, mostly from independent plantations and farming co-ops. We pay premium prices so that our farming partners can increase their capacity and take on unique processing risks that yield amazing and complex flavor profiles.

Then, we relentlessly and obsessively roast and cup to discover the most expressive flavor profile for each coffee. Our goal is not to show you what we can do with coffee, but to show you what coffee can be. Our whole-bean coffees are air roasted, in small batches, to maintain a precise and consistent quality with every roast.

Social Partner Program
A coffee joint represents our mission to build strength in connection. The Dovetail Social Partner Program is a royalty system of philanthropy based on individual product sales. Our aim is to be a reliable source of sustainable revenue to amazing non-profits, doing great work in our communities right here at home. We believe that by connecting our business performance to social impact, we can all share the same bottom line.

How it works: When we partner with a non-profit a coffee, or set of coffees, is selected to connect their mission to Dovetail. When a coffee is connected we send 1$ per pound of that coffee sold to the social partner each month. With each product and social partner, we set a funding goal and work to achieve that goal. We also help support our social partners by donating coffee and catering for their primary fundraising events, volunteering and helping to promote awareness for their cause.