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The local company made waves in a premier coffee magazine for their environmental work

Tony's Fairhaven location is where their beans were roasted from 1972 to 1995. Now it is just one of many places their coffee can be purchased.

By Holden Predmore

Tony’s Coffee has been selected as Roast Magazine’s Roaster of the Year for 2021, the same year they plan to celebrate their 50-year anniversary.

“Winning the award was the icing on the cake,” said Wendy Owen, Tony’s distribution manager. “We didn’t expect it.”

Owen said everybody at Tony’s was very excited about the news, as being recognized by Roast Magazine is no small achievement.

“For our business, that is the magazine most people read,” Owen said.

Roast Magazine understands the impact of the title they hand out.

“It’s like the Oscars of the coffee world,” said Connie Blumhardt, publisher of Roast Magazine and a judge for the Roaster of the Year competition. “The brands and companies that win the title, they are exceptional in the industry.”

Every year, Roast Magazine honors two roasters the award, one for Micro and one for Macro categories. The distinction is made by the pounds of coffee roasted per year. 100,000 pounds is the cut off for the Micro category.

Tony’s won the Macro category, roasting approximately 1.1 million pounds of coffee per year.

While Tony’s Coffee did well in every category of the competition, their environmental work was a big part of why they received the award.

“Looking to the future and how we can fix [our environment’s] trajectory is very important right now,” Owen said.

Tony’s has many plans and goals for environmental work, but one highlighted on their website and in the article Roast Magazine published for their award win is the goal to offset their historic carbon footprint by 2030.

“Offsetting is a part of taking ownership for your carbon emissions,” said Ryan Roberts, a sustainability coach for Kulshan Services.

Kulshan Services is the company Tony’s is working with to help develop their environmental plan.

“It is ambitious, and it’s bold and it’s what companies need to be doing,” Roberts said.

According to their website, Tony’s roastery and delivery fleet have already reached a carbon-neutral status.

“It’s been a real honor to work with Tony’s Coffee,” Roberts said. “They’re a client who really shares our values.”

Finishing their full plan for offsetting all historic emissions is the current focus for Tony’s environmental work, but they are confident they will be able to achieve that goal, Owen said.

However, Tony’s did not just win the award because of their social work. Roast Magazine was impressed with their coffee as well.

“You can’t just write a great application; your coffees have to back up the whole program,” Blumhardt said. “Tony’s had really high cupping scores. They had great coffee.”

Blumhardt said the competition is judged on strict criteria every year, and just getting into the later rounds of judging is an accomplishment to be proud of.

“Tony’s have a really well-balanced company that is searching for how they can become better all the time,” Blumhardt said. “They just shined through.”

Tony’s is preparing to celebrate 50 years of operation in 2021, and while they did not have much to share about the anniversary now, Owen said to keep a lookout on Tony’s social media if you want to stay up to date on their plans.

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