We had the good fortune of connecting with Zach and Sarah Hartke and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Zach and Sarah, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
We’ve loved coffee for a long time. Over the years, we have researched brewing methods, studied roasting techniques, learned the history of coffee, the supply chain and politics of importing, and have visited practically every coffee shop in Arizona. Up until last year, however, the idea of creating a business centered around coffee was a dream- and just a dream.

Our love of coffee is twofold. First, it is a highly technical, fascinating, and diverse industry, where we are able to strive for excellence and there is always something new coming around the corner. It’s been fun to experiment with different types of beans and flavor profiles. The experience of tasting two different coffees side by side and seeing how incredibly unique they each taste, is something that will never grow old.
Second, coffee is a special part of so many people’s lives. Whether people are meeting up to connect with friends or are brewing their morning pour-over to prepare for their day, coffee is a platform that encourages people to be present and enjoy the small things in life.

Last year, we started Wilderbloom because we wanted to connect with people. No matter what was going on in the world, we knew that we could help bring a little bit of light and refreshment to people’s lives, in something as simple as a cup of coffee. We decided to name our company “Wilderbloom” to juxtapose the two seemingly distant ideas of desert/ wilderness and blooming beauty. Most people associate the desert as a dry, bleak, and lifeless place, but, as native Arizonans, we know that the desert is full of life, intricacy, and beauty. Similarly, we want people to discover that beauty and intricacy in our coffee.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Wilderbloom is a specialty coffee roastery based out of Tempe, AZ. We believe that every cup of coffee contains an adventure! Every coffee is unique, with its own flavor, aroma, and tasting notes. We use these elements to pair it with an experience.

“This coffee tastes like sitting around a campfire with friends.”
“This coffee tastes like laying in a field of flowers.”
“This coffee tastes like exploring an unfamiliar, new place.”

Our goal is to make specialty coffee accessible and to invite everyone to adventure along with us!

Currently, Wilderbloom is an Ecommerce-only business. We rely on word-of-mouth and social media platforms to be discovered by new customers. This has certainly come with its own set of challenges, as we don’t have the opportunity to talk face-to-face with a lot of our customers. So, we’ve put a lot of care into making our packaging personal and welcoming. We include hand written notes in all packages and have worked with local designers to include postcards and artwork.

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?
The Valley is full of so many wonderful things to do and food to eat! For activities, we love visiting the Boyce Thompson Arboretum for cool, early morning nature walks. We also love indoor rock climbing at the Phoenix Rock Gym. For food, we love the Tonkatsu Ramen from Tampopo Ramen, the Chicken Sandwich from Worth Takeaway, and the entire menu of Crepe Bar. We also love the shared space of Cider Corps, Pair Cupworks, and Myke’s pizza.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Kimhak Em has been an incredible friend and mentor to us. He has gone out of his way to provide wisdom and advice about the coffee industry. Additionally, he has helped us connect with other coffee businesses in our community, which has helped us grow and learn. We would not be nearly as successful as we are, nor as excited about the future, if it were not for his kindness, generosity, and support.

Website: https://www.wilderbloomcoffeeroasters.com/

Instagram: @wilderbloomcoffee

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wilderbloomcoffee/

Image Credits
Aaron Meyers and Self

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.