BeanFruit Coffee Company

The BeanFruit Story

Believe it or not, I, Paul Bonds, founder of BeanFruit Coffee Company, grew up hating coffee.

My first experience with coffee was making instant coffee for my dad as a kid - Taster’s Choice instant coffee to be exact. I grew up in Southern Mississippi where zero coffee culture exists and you bought a can of Folgers if you wanted “the good stuff.” It wasn’t until college that I even picked up a coffee beverage again and it was a milk, sugar, syrup, and sauce drink that featured espresso. I wasn’t in love with it, I just needed to stay awake to study for exams.

In 2008, my interest in coffee sparked after reading an article about specialty coffee, where it came from, and who it affected. I started trying coffees from a couple local cafes in the area and attended my first cupping at Mississippi Coffee Company in Canton, Mississippi. Mark McKee who was the roaster at the time was very passionate about coffee but even more passionate about sourcing sustainable coffee.

Between his inspiring passion and my first experience of a washed Ethiopia Yirgacheffe at that cupping, I had an epiphany that turned my entire perception of coffee upside down.

I began scouring the internet, reading books and whatever I could get my hands on about coffee. I started buying quality coffee from roasters everywhere to taste and see what I liked. In 2009, I started roasting at home and when my friends would visit I would talk to them about coffee until they were blue in the face. One of my friends mentioned to me about me starting a coffee company and I began to ponder the idea. I already had a full-time job, but I just couldn’t shake the idea of starting a coffee business…not just any coffee business, but a coffee company that sourced high-quality coffees from farms and cooperatives that practiced sustainability.

In a leap of faith, I purchased a small commercial roaster, started roasting at home; I remember burning up pounds and pounds of beans at a time. Frustration only begins to explain how I felt at that time. Here I am in the middle of Mississippi trying to roast coffee. After much research and trials I started selling at the local farmer’s market on the weekend. Picking up a minor following at the Farmer’s Markets, shortly afterward we got an opportunity to serve an upscale restaurant in Downtown Jackson named Parlor Market. We also started getting into few retailers including Lemuria Bookstore that we still service to this day.

About a year later, we got a huge opportunity to work with our first café Sneaky Beans in the Fondren district. It was the birth of BeanFruit Coffee Company. About a year later, I left my corporate job to pursue BeanFruit full-time and haven’t looked back.

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