HUNTINGTON — Located in the back of the Collective Market along East Pea Ridge is a small shop that features a variety of different roasted coffee blends from around the world.
“I worked at Starbucks for about three years. ... I ended up becoming one of their trainers. Getting into that, I discovered that I really liked coffee. It was more than a hobby for me; I wanted to make it a career,” said Alex Dailey, co-founder and head roaster of Hill Tree Roastery. “So I got more into wanting to learn the roots of coffee and the relationships that built it. I wanted to learn the whole process, method and chemical exchange of coffee as it roasts.”
When he realized it was something he truly wanted to do, he sought out mentoring from partner Bryan Shaw.
“He does business consulting and taught a program at Marshall University,” Dailey said.
“One of our mutual friends introduced us,” Shaw said. “We started talking, and not long later we started doing pop-ups. We got licensed and officially launched the Hill Tree coffee brand. Prior to that I was running a startup accelerator in Huntington. My backgrounds were in marketing and economic development, so really the two skill sets go together. Our typical days of travels go from Huntington, Charleston to Williamson. We are sticking to that as far as being in retail spaces and being in restaurants. As we start to grow and expand, we are getting into other areas as well.”
One of the restaurants in the area where you can sample the coffee is at Nomada Bakery, which recently opened at Heritage Station. Co-owner Ariel Barcenas is a fan of the roasters.
“We are very happy to be working with them because their products are very good,” Barcenas said. “All of the interest and passion they have of the coffee translates very well into our passion for our own products. We are carrying two of their beans, the Mexican Roast and Brazilian Roast. After a couple of tastings, we though those are the ones that pair well with the pastries and foods we are serving.”
While the location inside the Collective Market doesn’t offer drinks made to order, customers can stop in and learn more about different blends and how they are made. You can shop for chemex coffee makers, French presses and mugs.
“We are a direct trade company, which means we work right with the farms. We work direct trade with the families that own the microlots and help develop trade systems with other family farms as well. It allows us to build off of a fair trade system,” Dailey said. “All of the farms we work with are organic certified farms.”
“One of top sellers is a Mexican bean, the Colombian is always very popular, and a lot of people like our Papua New Guinea bean because there’s a slight sweetness,” Shaw said.
Hill Tree Roastery is located at 6326 East Pea Ridge in Barboursville inside the Collective Market. It is open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. It is closed Sunday through Wednesdays. Cash and all major credit/debit cards are accepted. For business inquiries, contact them via e-mail at alek@hilltreeroastery or email@example.com.