small business

Deadstock Coffee - Portland, OR

"We named our shop after sneakers."

Ian Williams didn't grow up an avid coffee lover or a longtime barista. No, his interest in coffee comes from an understanding of how much influence a coffee shop has on a community and its culture.

Deadstock Coffee - Portland, OR

Deadstock Coffee - Portland, OR

Originally from Newport News, Virginia, Ian grew up ten minutes down the road from the birthplace of Allen Iverson - his idol. Every Christmas, Ian received a new pair of A.I.s. These sneakers would lay the foundation of Ian's passion and carve his path towards the sneakerhead lifestyle. After moving to the Mecca of Shoes - Portland, OR - Ian took a position at the Nike Employee Store. From there, he took "eighteen steps backwards" and took a janitor job at the Nike Campus location. He knew he needed to be seen, and people would get to know him "taking out their trash." Ian had surrounded himself with the best in the industry, and after three years he finally landed a job in the Nike Design Department as a Footwear Engineer. The long journey had finally paid itself off...but Ian wasn't finished.

Commitment to passion carries Ian Williams forward. He says, "I'm passionate about people and about product and not so much about the brand. I just want to do my own thing... The one thing that transferred all the way through is passion and having good people around you. Having those people who believe in you and what you are trying to achieve, you'll be all good." Enter Deadstock Coffee, Ian's cafe and opportunity for like-minded folks who, like himself, are passionate about a craft. Deadstock represents all of these values and more. From aspiring shoe designers to enthusiasts in any industry, all are welcomed to come and discuss... well... really, anything.

 
Ian Williams - Deadstock Coffee

Ian Williams - Deadstock Coffee

 

Ian chooses to infuse sneaker culture into coffee culture through Deadstock. The sneaker vibes are everywhere, from the walls of the shop to the drinks themselves. Simply put, the cafe is reflective of Ian's experience and how he sees the world. "So many things are spur of the moment. We like to put passion into the current thing we are doing. We just do it because it's cool right then and that's it. Then we are like, 'alright, what's next?'" This drive to do what feels fresh in the moment and never back down sets Ian apart not only within the Portland coffee scene but in the industry as a whole.

Be on the lookout for more from Ian and Deadstock Coffee. Ultimately, it’s a space for anyone who is passionate about craftsmanship. Whether that passion is sneakers, coffee, music, photography, it doesn’t matter. Deadstock is simply a space that appreciates passion, welcomes expression, and fosters creativity. Ian’s a pretty humble guy, so The Pour is happy to shout him out and what he’s doing. It’s a real step forward in this industry. Thanks for having us, Ian, and providing a space for all walks of life.

SK Coffee - Allston, MA


A relationship with coffee can be deeply personal. This is exactly how it is for Sam Kjellberg, a choral conductor who has discovered the beauty of roasting his own coffee. As a conductor, Sam’s job is to manage the experience of the music for the audience. Sam calls it "having agency" pulling together every aspect of the music and the performance such that the audience hears and feels exactly what Sam wants them to. 

Sam Kjellberg   and Nils Clauson 

Sam Kjellberg and Nils Clauson 

Sam took that same desire to create the perfect experience into his relationship with coffee. For Sam, coffee was perhaps getting a little too elitist and in the process was becoming less accessible to those unwilling to acquire the knowledge and the language to "speak coffee." The audience was growing more distant from the authenticity of the coffee. 

Sam turned this challenge on its head. By getting to know the beans better, by learning what it takes to roast coffee in a way that brings out its full and diverse flavors, by choosing, roasting, cupping and tasting his coffee over and over again until he got it "right," Sam created "agency" with coffee.

Musician - Billy Dean Thomas 

Musician - Billy Dean Thomas 

While investing deeply into exploring the coffee experience for himself, something still missing. That something was the audience. How could Sam share his coffee experience and make it accessible to others without putting them off or making them feel ignorant? 

That's where The Pour came in. By understanding Sam's coffee experience better, by seeing the parallel path between his love of music and his love of coffee, The Pour created an event where Sam’s love of music and his intimate experience with coffee could be shared with others. Bringing together a diverse group of people who liked coffee and music, The Pour created a stage where Sam could share his experience of coffee in a way that was more accessible his audience. The result is right here in this video. Enjoy the music of coffee as conducted by one very passionate leader.

Coffee & Cotton - Lowell, MA


At first glance, the mills and warehouses of Lowell, MA appear as only monuments to the city’s past as the capital for American textile production. While the cloth and cotton may be gone, a new, vibrant and powerful dynamic is emerging inside one of Lowell’s oldest buildings. Structures that once produced shirts and sheets now incubate new companies manifesting everything from pottery to music platforms. Small businesses are thriving again in Lowell and the women, youth and immigrants behind them are contributing to the city’s re-birth and flourishing culture. 

Addie Provost & Nils Clauson

Addie Provost & Nils Clauson

Take a closer look inside Mill No. 5 and you’ll find Coffee & Cotton, the flag bearer for the changing face of business in Lowell. It’s no secret that growing businesses need a place to share ideas and manifest opportunities. Coffee & Cotton serves that exact purpose. The Pour had a chance to sit down with Addie Provost, the 26 year-old general manager of Coffee & Cotton. Addie reminded us that Coffee and Cotton is the “beating heart and center of Mill No. 5.” It “provides a space for people who want to start businesses that have maybe never started a business before and are looking for a safe space to try it out with very little risk.”

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Coffee & Cotton gladly accepts its responsibility as a vital link between the small business ecosystem and the community of Lowell. The cafe leads by example and actively builds diversity in its work force, particularly in the staffing of women. At Coffee & Cotton, women participate directly in the most senior operating positions. As Addie put it, “One of the things I really love about Mill No. 5 is that there are so many women who are leaders here and there aren’t a lot of places where women have the opportunities to be leaders.” Outside the cafe, Coffee & Cotton sponsors community events such as Thread Groove, a collection of vintage clothes and vinyl for sale, Digs, retailers selling tools and gardening themed items for urban growers and its weekly Sunday Markets, which supports local vendors of all types. Coffee & Cotton is a cafe that goes well beyond turning out great coffee. It creates a “home” for the small businesses of Lowell and the local community they are such an integral part of – a place where the city’s economic and cultural complexion is being re-invented. In local venues like Coffee & Cotton we see just how innovative coffee culture can be.