Producer Profile: Snowing in Space Coffee--Not Your Usual Cup!
Jesse, the Operations Manager and Head Brewer, preps a batch of Big Blue.
“We’re a bunch of scrappy dudes,” says Amber Slaughter, Assistant Roaster and Jill-of-All-Trades at Snowing in Space Coffee. “We run on a skeleton crew. We do everything differently. We’re weird in a good way. Kids at heart, really. Our curiosity as a company never dies!”
You can hear the smile in her voice when Amber, an enthusiastic spokesperson for her employer, talks about what their small team has accomplished over the past three-plus years: “Snowing in Space was established in 2016 by two friends, Paul Dierkes and Joel Artz, who turned their new-found love of cold brew into a business. And thus, Snowing in Space Coffee began.”
The two friends are film buffs, which shows up in a couple of interesting ways. First, there’s the name of Snowing in Space Coffee. Laughing, Amber says, “These guys are all about all things Bill Murray. The phrase ‘snowing in space’ came from an obscure line in Groundhog Day when Bill Murray’s character was trying to make a call from Punxsutawney, PA. He can’t get a connection, and he is frustrated and wonders out loud if it’s because it’s snowing in space.“
It turns out that these two scrappy dudes have also had some excellent adventures together, enjoying success along the way. (No wonder two of their coffees are named “Bill” and “Ted.” )
“Joel is a graphic designer and web guy, and Paul is great at talking with people,” Amber says. “They’ve worked together to build Snowing in Space, and it reflects their humor and their sense of fun.”
Almost everything about this company is playful. Just take one look at the Snowing in Space Coffee website [link below], and you’ll see the humor and creativity that Amber both admires and reflects. Mail order customers can choose the style of bags that they prefer. Hit the “Shop” button, and the lines that introduce you to the page are, “These bags don’t match your shoes—only your level of rock ‘em, sock ‘em. From bantam to heavyweight, choose your preferred level of Kapow! and how dark you like your magic. Then choose which style—Creature or Rainbow—you want to greet on your doorstep.”
The Snowing in Space Coffee website is entertainment in its own right. Seriously. Even the bags are quirky and fun!
Mike and Elliot, the distribution team, manage to both work hard and play a little.
“Joel is the creative director. You can see his influence in the packaging, which he has designed. We have three different kinds of bags: the metallic finish rainbow bags and the creature bags came first. Now there are the new puppet bags, which go along with the rainbow metallic theme.”
Each of the coffees is named after one of the company’s “caffeine creatures,” each of whom has a backstory that’s original to Snowing in Space. Even Bill and Ted, whose names are borrowed from the classic buddy film, have their own Snowing- in-Space-specific personalities.
The new "puppet bags": L to R, Big Blue, Bill, Gimme Dat
“These caffeine creatures are definitely part of our brand”, says Amber. “If you go on the website and scroll past the bags, you’re introduced to the creatures and their bios. Big Blue comes off as a stoner who’s oddly pretentious about jazz. Gimme Dat is a rambunctious kind of guy. Halfsies is a gal who’s kinda all over the place. No telling how Joel and Paul came up with this stuff. Joel is just amazingly creative in a direction that no one else takes.”
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Amber began in sales, but her perfect fit with the sensibilities of the company soon led to her becoming Assistant Roaster and Head of Fulfillment, as well as being a self-declared Jill-of-all-trades: “I do whatever it takes,” she declares cheerfully.”You’ll find me working on E-commerce, roasting—even on the canning line when that’s what needs to be done. I learned to roast from Ericka, our head roaster. And that’s just the coolest thing—we’re an anomaly in the coffee industry. Ericka and I are both female roasters. There aren’t many of us in Virginia. Actually, there aren’t many of us, period.”
Amber herself, pouring green coffee beans into the hopper to begin the roasting process.
So that’s just one more charming and unexpected element of Snowing in Space Coffee.
Clearly, Snowing in Space is not your usual coffee company. Their website is a great example of how talented they are at drawing you in. You actually want to explore more and to read the whole thing because it’s just so funny and interesting. It’s a great mind-break during a pandemic, for sure. But for all the humor, you also see the seriousness with which the folks at Snowing in Space take the quality of the product they offer. All of the fun and creativity are for naught if the coffee’s no good—and this coffee is really, really good.
Turns out that the scrappy dudes know what they’re doing in choosing and roasting the beans, which are all certified fair trade and single-origin. They buy organically grown beans, and are working on the certification for that, too. Their practices certainly make them a good fit for the Fall Line farms and Local Roots producer lineup—not to mention the fact that our members love good coffee.
Our members can purchase this “supercool power fuel” in whole bean form on our pages, or in cans of nitro cold brew. Either way, they’re sure to enjoy the experience of “refueliing their rad” with this “super-amazing power fuel.”
Party on, dudes! Snowing in Space will provide just the right coffee for your excellent adventure.
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To buy Snowing in Space coffee on our pages, go to www.flflr.luluslocalfood.com.
To learn more about the caffeine creatures and to pick up the rad vibe of Snowing in Space Coffee , visit their website: www.snowinginspace.com.
You can also find them on social media: @snowinginspace.