After leaving the Army, Freedom Hill Coffee Roasters’ founder Scott Thomas found little fulfillment in his nine-to-five career, so he decided to turn his passion for creating delicious coffee into a business. The Michigan native relocated his family from bustling Chicago to picturesque Antrim County, Michigan, and launched a company born of twin concepts: delivering premium coffee to his customers, and serving the veteran community.
First and foremost, Freedom Hill Coffee Roasters aims to provide a quality coffee experience. Every day, Scott roasts specialty-grade beans sourced primarily from small-acreage farms in Colombia and Brazil. The result is a lineup of flavors that will suit any palate. Customer favorites include the Dark Roast, Breakfast Blend, and rotating single-origin series, but Scott loves all of his brews for their special attributes. Freedom Hill’s Espresso Roast, for instance, is “just what [he looks] for in an espresso bean, full-bodied, and darkly roasted, but not beyond sweetness.” The Extra Dark “can stand up to cream if it’s a coffee and bread for breakfast kind of day.” Freedom Hill’s Light Roast, which also includes beans from Ethiopia, “makes a great pour-over in the summer.”
Though he may not have a favorite blend, Scott’s favorite part of the coffee creation process is working with the beans featured in Freedom Hill Coffee Roasters’ single origin coffees. Geared toward the “serious coffee lover,” single origin coffees demonstrate the particular attributes of beans sourced from exotic locales around the world. Recent single origin offerings included a Brazilian Mogiana, an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, and a Costa Rican from the Alto San Juan region.
When new single-origin beans hit Freedom Hill’s roasting room, Scott puts them through a series of tests to determine how the degree of roast, temperature, and time affect the beans’ taste. “The same beans may demonstrate a wide range of flavor profiles and tasting notes,” he explains. “To get in a new bag or two of a micro-lot coffee and put it through the paces to see what magic we can unlock is really fun and never gets old.”
Scott’s customers share his passion about his single origin brews, which have “a zealous following.” Each time the company releases a new single origin coffee, feedback pours in via e-mail. Knowing that his customers are eager to be involved in the process “is what makes it fun.”
Coffee for a Cause
Freedom Hill Coffee Roasters offers a subscription program for customers who want their favorite specialty coffees delivered regularly. Along with the option to pick two, three, or four bags of any combination of Freedom Hill coffees, delivered at the frequency of their choosing, subscribers get a 10% discount on coffee, as well as free delivery.
It is Freedom Hill’s subscribers who Scott says “are the foundation of the company’s charitable mission” to give back to first responders, service members, and veterans who have borne the battle for America.
Freedom Hill Coffee Roasters donates 20% of its proceeds to Mission 22, an organization seeking to end the veteran suicide epidemic by educating the public about veteran mental health, organizing memorials, and providing treatment for veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, or military sexual trauma.
Freedom Hill’s social media presence also celebrates the achievements of veterans and service members and promotes awareness of mental health struggles in Americans who have served. In addition to holding promotions that benefit service members and veterans organizations, the company sells a variety of patriotic apparel and gear for customers who want to display their own support of and pride in the veteran community.
The Future of Freedom Hill Coffee Roasters
After just eight months in business, Freedom Hill Coffee Roasters has seen steady growth. While working around the clock to keep up with demand, Scott is preparing for a few exciting changes in the coming months. A single origin coffee from Papua New Guinea will soon be released, with a Tanzanian Peaberry to follow. For Keurig users, K-cups of Freedom Hill’s Dark Roast and Breakfast Blend will be available for purchase in November.
With the expansion of the company, Scott also intends to expand his mission of service. When the coronavirus pandemic abates, Freedom Hill Coffee Roasters plans to host groups of veterans at the Antrim County farm for monthly hikes and coffee hours. Scott also hopes to partner with Wake for Warriors to provide fun-filled days of water sports activities for injured veterans on nearby Intermediate Lake.
The Freedom Hill farm will also host activities for the community at large, like an Independence Day 5K ruck or run at the farm to raise money for local veterans organizations.
To keep up with Freedom Hill Coffee Roasters’ latest coffees, apparel, promotions, and activities, follow them on Instagram or Facebook. You can also sign up for the Freedom Hill Coffee e-mail newsletter for the latest from Scott and the Freedom Hill Press. Know more about special beans.