The problem with being a millennial and living in Seattle is that I need good coffee all the time, and this requirement holds true whether I’m grinding out work on my PhD or waking up at 8,000 feet on a glacier somewhere in the Cascades.
Have you ever had to wake up and start your day at 3 a.m.? I sure have, many times! Not only do you have to wake up, but you have to organize your gear, motivate your partners, and most importantly, make the coffee. One of these things could be made easier, and that is why I created Alpine Start. A way to make coffee in an instant, so you can focus on the bigger challenges that are in front of you.
I have tried every instant coffee on the market, and let’s be honest, it doesn’t have the best rap. However, there wasn’t much of a choice. So, for the past year, that was my challenge. Creating an instant coffee people would be psyched on, and didn’t have to sacrifice bad coffee for time.
The idea first came to me when I was on a climbing expedition in the Bugaboos of British Columbia. After drinking so much shitty instant coffee, I realized there just wasn’t a quality premium instant coffee on the market. At the time I didn’t know much about starting a business or even much about coffee. All I knew was I had a good idea and I was willing to put in the time and effort to figure it out. I also had the idea of the name, Alpine Start. It was my life for the past 15 years. It felt like everything was coming together, but I had one problem… How the heck do you make an instant coffee taste good?!
After coming home from the Bugaboos I partnered with Boulder’s local food star Alex Hanifin, and enlisted Amy Burke as our designer. The ball was rolling and it only took us a few months to learn everything we could about instant coffee. It involved a lot of taste testing, lots of meetings and at the end of the day being shut down for the first few months.
But with this team, it would take a lot to get us to stop. We were on a mission and with the dedication and passion, we finally created an instant coffee we all loved. And from there on, the momentum continued. We shared it with our family and friends, and before we knew it, we had our business and a product we loved.
It didn’t take long until we had to grow our team. So we brought on another business star, Michael Crouch, into the family as our Chief of Operations.
It’s amazing what such a small team has done. It’s been almost two years since the idea came to me and just about a year since I touched the first box of “Alpine Start”- my own premium instant coffee.
I can’t tell you how crazy of year it’s been, lots of ups and lots of downs but I’m super excited to announce we’re in almost 500 doors including a regional launch with Whole Foods and national launch with REI.
When I was living in my tent in the Bugaboos two years ago I never imagined the day my dream would come to a reality. We’re still young and have lots of kinks to figure out but, I can’t be happier or more proud of my team for bringing us this far.
So thanks to all of you, we couldn’t have done it without your support.
- Matt Segal; Founder and Visionary of Alpine Start