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Check Out Tanya Schneider’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tanya Schneider. 

Hi Tanya, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today.
I have always been so curious about coffee – even at a young age. I would watch my father take time in his busy life to sit down early in the morning to enjoy a cup of coffee. Then he tackled the day. I actually had my first cup of coffee aside my father when I was a young girl. For many people, it is an acquired taste, but for me – it was love at first sip. And the fact that it was time spent with my father made it even that much better. It wasn’t until I was nearing my 30’s that my curiosity and love for coffee grew to the point, I was reading books about how coffee is grown, processed, roasted, and different brewing methods. After much research, I set a goal to learn to roast coffee. Little did I know that this goal would later turn into a career. 

My first coffee roaster was the size of a toaster oven and only roasted about a 1/2 cup of coffee at a time which is not much at all. I burnt a lot of coffee beans before I got it right. But once I perfected it – it was the most delicious coffee I had ever tasted. After about a year of roasting coffee just for my own personal use (not for resale), I was ready to share my love for roasting coffee with others. At the place I worked at the time, we were putting together military care packages. I offered to roast coffee to send over to our troops. I roasted every single bean I had, packaged it up & shipped it overseas. That is when things shifted. Instead of roasting for my own personal use, I decided to branch out and share with the rest of the world. I didn’t know how I was going to do it or how to even get started, but I know my “why,” and that was to give back to our communities, military, and to anyone in need through my love of coffee. So, I started saving money. I put a little aside from each paycheck and was patient. I knew when the time was right; everything would fall into place. It took five years, but I had saved up enough money to purchase a bigger coffee roaster that would allow me to roast for others. I also purchased a small Amish-built building to put on our property and begin roasting in 2016. That was when Courageous Coffee was born. Many area stores offered to carry Courageous Coffee, and soon it was being sold at five locations and our local farmer’s market. And the more coffee that was being sold, the more I was able to give back to others. In the first year, Courageous Coffee was able to make donations to our local police and fire department, Homeless Angels organization for blessing bags for the homeless, Blue Star Mothers for military care packages, Lansing Area Rescue Mission for food for the homeless, and also many other local school donations and donations to fundraisers for individuals in need in our community. It is hard to put into words how much joy it brings to start a business that allows me to give back and have it take off and be successful. Thanks to our community and all the support for Courageous Coffee, we have been able to bless so many other non-profit organizations, schools, and our military over the years as well. The most recent donations made were: Backpacks for Bellies to help with child hunger, 

Today, I am happy to report that we outgrew that small little building and have expanded into a cute little coffee shop and bakery in the heart of downtown Portland. By expanding our business, we are able to also expand our giving. Which is the true purpose the business began. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Operating a business has definitely come with some struggles. The biggest struggle was launching our new location coffee shop and bakery right smack at the very beginning of Covid. It was terrifying, and we had no idea each day if we would survive to the next to be able to keep our doors open to the community we loved so much. But, although it was hard, we found the beauty in the challenge. We were flourished with an outpouring amount of love and support by our customers. I am so grateful to be able to say that we survived those rough days and we are still here. We have truly been so blessed. 

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a local coffee roaster and owner of a coffee shop and bakery. I do all of our coffee roasting and the baking here at the shop. My true personality gets to shine though when I am with our customers. I have always had an outgoing and friendly personality and absolutely love people. My favorite part about our shop is the people – serving them and taking the time to get to know them better. It brings my heart so much joy. 

How can people work with you, collaborate with you, or support you?
We love when people show us support by stopping in and talking with us, trying out our fresh roasted coffee or delicious baked goods made from scratch in-house. Our coffee can also be ordered on our website at courageouscoffee.com. Folks can also support us by following us on Facebook or Instagram. 

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