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FairWave grows US specialty coffee network with two more businesses

The self-described ‘collective’ of independent specialty coffee businesses has added Minneapolis-based Folly Coffee Roasters and Philtera Cold Brewed Coffees to its group of independent brands

A specialty coffee shop in Cleveland, Ohio, USA | Photo credit: Austin Park

FairWave Specialty Coffee Collective has added a roastery and a cold brew manufacturer to its network of specialty independents.
Minneapolis-based Folly is a small-batch specialty roaster and with a coffee shop and tea bar site founded by Rob Bathe, who is also the co-founder of Philtera Cold Brewed Coffees, a keg and bag-in-box cold brew brand.
According to a press release, Folly will become a ‘full-service partner to cafés and restaurants, offering allied, paper, and other ancillary products and services to its customers’.
Bathe will join the FairWave team as Vice President of Sales and Business Development for FairWave Minnesota. Meanwhile, Folly’s Head Roaster Jeff Moone will become Director of Coffee at the group.
“By partnering with FairWave, we will have access to incredible green coffee globally, increased capabilities, a shared system of best practices across like-minded local coffee brands, and back-of-house business support,” said Bathe.
FairWave was launched in 2020 after taking stakes in Kansas City-based The Roasterie, which currently operates and roastery and six cafés, and Messenger Coffee, which has a roastery and four cafés.
The group describes itself as delivering ‘financial insights, industry best practices, and behind-the-scenes support’ to specialty coffee businesses while enabling them to remain independent.
In 2021, FairWave fully acquired Minneapolis-based Spyhouse Coffee Roasters, which currently operates a roastery and seven coffee shops.
With its new members, FairWave collectively pools the resources of 23 coffee shops, four roasteries, a bakery supplier, RTD coffee brand and a cold brew manufacturer.
Demonstrating the depth of co-operation between the brands, Messenger Coffee supplies fellow FairWave members Filling Station and Black Dog Coffeehouse, which operate three and a single coffee shop respectively.
Meanwhile, bakery supplier Ibis Bakery supplies Messenger Coffee and Black Dog Coffee House.
According to its website, Philtera counts Spyhouse and Filtera as partner roasters.
“As our presence grows in Minneapolis and into additional new markets, we continue to be driven by the same purpose: to preserve and elevate local specialty coffee brands through best practices, innovation and authentic coffee experiences,” said Dan Trott, Co-founder of FairWave.
Pooling resources and expertise could be a savvy move for specialty independents often at the sharp edge of volatile commodity prices, supply chain disruption and staff shortages ­­­– challenges larger competitors can more effectively navigate with their economies of scale.
FairWave’s focus on community and quality is also likely to resonate with many US coffee consumers in a market undergoing deep shifts in the wake of increased rates of remote working following the pandemic and a younger demographic driving specialty coffee demand.

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