LISC DC sat down with Candy Schibli to talk about her small business, Southeastern Roastery. Southeastern Roastery was founded in 2016 with the goal of promoting cultural exchange, open dialogue, and celebrating coffee community and culture. LISC DC supported this business through a one-for-one match on Candy’s Kiva fundraising campaign, and we are happy to report that Southeastern Roastery is now fully funded!
How did you become interested in coffee roasting?
My interest in coffee roasting kind of came about gradually. After graduate school in Costa Rica, where I was studying natural resources and sustainable development, I visited a number of coffee farms. At one point, I thought about what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be at retirement, and my thought has always been to be in a place warm and tropical, humid, mountainous, and close to beaches. Those are the types of environments that I enjoy the most, so I worked backwards to think about how I can get to that point. With my background in engineering and natural resources and sustainable development, I came to coffee. It also incorporates my love of agriculture and the fresh food movement, so that’s how I became interested in coffee.
How did LISC help you reach your KIVA loan goal?
LISC matched it one-for-one. Having that additional network of people on the radar helped out as well. I think it gives it a nice local connection to the DC community.
How will this Kiva loan help you grow your business?
We’re currently running on a 1kg Mill City Roaster, so the loan is being used to acquire a 6kg roaster and to support the addition of other roasters other than myself. This will help us distribute more beans, support more programming, and get involved in more ways within the community.
In a sentence or two, how would you describe yourself as a business owner?
I definitely am passionate about what I’m doing. I definitely see this as a lifestyle business and one with compassion. I hope that comes through in the roasts and the way that I operate my business as well.
Besides roasting and supplying coffee, what else does Southeastern Roastery hope to achieve?
I hope to achieve community development through the roastery. One of my long-term ideas is to have a space that is available in a hopefully underserved area for creatives to come use: actors, artists, musicians, writers, etc. I also want to have it open to students who are interested in science and math, who want to see the practical applications of what they’re learning via roasting. I want to provide that as a mentorship opportunity to learn about business development, management, organization skills, and just a place to do homework and ask questions.