Upper Valley Coffee Roasters was established in 2015, after founders Andrea Franklin and Chelsea Lynes relocated from the Bay Area to Vermont’s Upper Valley region, where Andrea grew up. Living in San Francisco for a number of years, they had witnessed the emergence of the craft coffee experience and enjoyed many of the great coffees that came with this movement. Following their move to Vermont, they wanted to enjoy the same quality of coffee with their close friends, family, and neighbors but quickly realized there were few options in the area. By deciding to start their own coffee roastery, they were able to make decisions for the business driven by their commitment to support product sustainability, contribute to the local economy, and provide access and education about coffees from around the world. In early 2016 their plans took shape with the design and fabrication of their own coffee roaster, which Andrea built with her dad at his business, Vermont Country Iron. A permanent facility, built in 2017 in Newbury, VT, allows Andrea and Chelsea to roast and package their coffee fresh every week for delivery to local businesses and mail order across the US.
Andrea Franklin grew up in Bradford, VT, where the abundance of public lands and hiking trails were the catalyst to an extended excursion in her early twenties to the Sierra Nevada’s and Rocky Mountains. Andrea spent many years on the west coast working in the National Parks and National Forests, spending seasons in the backcountry working on the country’s most well-known, long-distance national scenic trails. While off the grid, she emerged as the trail crew’s blind-folded re-bar pounding champion and set new records for her accuracy and strength. Trail crews gotta have fun somehow! A builder, maker, and doer by nature, it was no surprise that Andrea insisted on building her own roaster upon returning to Vermont for her latest endeavor. Andrea is undoubtedly a lifelong coffee lover and is thrilled to be taking this passion to the next level in the community where she grew up.
Chelsea Lynes was raised in Woodstock, IL, loving the outdoors, exploration, and… spreadsheets. Odd right? After receiving a B.A. in Biology from Hope College in Michigan, an interest in natural sciences brought them to the west coast in 2010, finding work in natural resource management for the National Park Service and various conservation organizations. Chelsea’s natural inclination for data analysis proved to be a great skill for resource management and, now, starting a coffee roastery. Building on these skills, they continued learning web development and later built out UVCR’s website. They credit starting their day quietly with coffee as integral to success. Chelsea is happy to be back on the east coast—having spent summers as a kid visiting Nana in Vermont—and even more excited to be sharing great coffee in the region.