We had the good fortune of connecting with René Steenvoorden and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi René, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
When my business partner Kyle travelled to South America, he fell in love with the ‘smooth and non-acidic’ coffee that seemed to be served everywhere he went. After looking into the differences between the average coffee in the US and what he drank there, we found the secret: natural process (or sun dried) beans. Commercial coffee is often washed and has an enormous negative impact on the environment. With the intent to make natural process coffee more common in the US, as well as decreasing environmental impact and combat climate change, the business idea was born.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The best business ventures sometimes come from unexpected places. I have always been a huge coffee lover, but never thought about turning it into a profession. I used to own a consultancy company in The Netherlands (where I grew up) and worked as a project manager for large firms while living in London. After moving to Colorado, I felt a strong desire to create a more physical product. It has been fascinating to learn how to run a company that creates a product like this, from working with importers to optimizing production and logistics.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Our whole team loves spending as much time as possible in the mountains. I feel a strong desire to live a simple life in harmony with nature, I would recommend anyone visiting to explore the trails nearby (there are many), tag a few summits and head down to Evergreen afterwards for a beer at Revival Brews or stock up on some new outdoor gear and visit our friend Mike at Outbound Mountain Gear.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Huge shootout to my friend and business partner Kyle Kociemba-Benson, who created Bivouac in the first place and laid the foundation for the company. Every company needs a creative mind. I’d also like to thank our amazing team, who believes in our mission of making sustainable coffee more accessible for everyone.