Sponsored by Oregon Business

Profiles of the 2011 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon

| Print |  Email
Articles - March 2011
Tuesday, March 01, 2011


Stumptown employee Brian Keeffe inspects some of the coffee roaster’s finest beans. In addition to standard benefits, Stumptown keeps employees happy in some creative ways, including sending several of them overseas last summer to staff a temporary coffee bar in Amsterdam.
Matthew Dawson teaching a class of California roasters the Stumptown way.
Anna Keeffe makes coffee at Stumptown. The company employs about 100 in Portland and another 50 in Seattle and New York.
Coffee signs in a Stumptown café. The roaster will consolidate its headquarters in an old Salvation Army building in Portland in the near future.
Matt Lounsbury, director of operations, says Stumptown’s employees are “great people who are inspired to be here and want to stay with us.” // Photos by Eric Näslund
If you know anything at all about the Portland coffee roaster STUMPTOWN COFFEE (NO. 7 BEST LARGE COMPANY) — that it was founded by colorful hipster Duane Sorenson, that it insists on paying a fair price and then some to its foreign coffee growers or just that its coffee can make someone's day — then some of its employee perks should come as no surprise.

Of course the company has paid for employee bands to record their own albums. Of course there are wagging dogs to greet you at the laid-back headquarters in Southeast Portland. Of course their 2008 Christmas party featured a mechanical bull and free tattoos. And yes, of course they threw a keg of beer on a tour bus and took 25 of their employees to a Slayer show in Salem in 2006.

But the 11-year-old company, which has 150 employees and locations in Portland, Seattle and New York, goes beyond thrash metal and a full-time masseuse. There are solid wages, health care — “Before I even took a paycheck, I wanted to make sure all my employees had health care,” Sorenson says — and, coming soon, a retirement plan for a traditionally young but steady workforce that has begun to buy houses and start families.

Sorenson says he hires people who inspire him, even if that initially comes through their artwork or music, and who seek out Stumptown’s values — those embodied by its commitment to its farmers, for example — as much as the company’s cool vibe.

Matt Lounsbury, director of operations, says that latter point may be what employees appreciate most about working for Stumptown.

“Otherwise, you’re just representing a product,” he says. “Duane doesn’t ask anybody to sell T-shirts or anything other than coffee, but in turn he’s giving the best ingredients the world has to offer so that you feel like you have a company you can stand behind. That’s real.”



Gern Blenston
+1 #1 Great Photos!Gern Blenston 2011-03-12 10:23:03
Whoever this Eric Naslund guy is, his work just rocks! The one of Matt Lonsbury is just epic.
Quote | Report to administrator

More Articles

Run, Nick, Run

October 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015

Controversial track star Nick Symmonds is leveraging his celebrity to grow a performance chewing-gum brand. Fans hail his marketing ploys as genius. Critics dub them shameless.


Big Trouble in China?

Guest Blog
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
0818-wellmanthumbBY JASON NORRIS | CFA

Earlier this month, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) announced they were going to devalue their currency, the Renminbi. While the amount of the targeted change was to be roughly 2 percent, investors read a lot more into the move. The Renminbi had been gradually appreciating against the U.S. dollar (see chart) as to attempt to alleviate concerns of being labeled a currency manipulator.


Have a baby and keep a job? It won’t be easy in Portland

The Latest
Friday, October 02, 2015
100115kimblogthumbBY KIM MOORE

Our intrepid (and expecting) research editor finds the child care search involves long waiting lists, costly fees and no certainty of securing a place before she goes back to work.


The Cover Story

Linda Baker
Thursday, August 27, 2015
01-cover-0915-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

How do you put a baby on the cover of a business magazine without it looking too cutesy?


Storyteller in Chief: Power Player

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

In 1996, after a 17-year career in the destination marketing industry, where I gained national standing as the CEO of the Convention & Visitors Association of Lane County, I was recruited by the founders of a new professional basketball league for women. The American Basketball League (ABL) hoped to leverage the success of the 1996 USA women’s national team at the Atlanta Olympics — much like USA Soccer is now leveraging the U.S. Women’s National Team’s victory in the World Cup. The ABL wanted a team in Portland, and they wanted me to be its general manager.


Living the dream

Friday, August 21, 2015

smugglespearsthumbRenee Spears, founder and owner of Portland-based Rose City Mortgage, is hot to trot to sell pot.


Inside the Box

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Screening for “culture fit” has become an essential part of the hiring process. But do like-minded employees actually build strong companies — or merely breed consensus culture?

Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02