(From James)

In late June 2014 I, James Parrish, and my dear friend (and at that time long-term roommate) Mr. JJ Weber Esquire headed to Ann Arbor, Michigan with the mission of driving a car he had left there in Michigan back to California.
I had plotted us a course along I-94 and I-90 that, once you include our Oregon, Washington, and California portions, would have us visiting 25 different roasters (we actually skipped a lot). In my mind I was reaffirming my own desires to move forward with a new business while trying to bring my friend JJ onboard, but also getting a rare chance to see how things worked outside of my Bay Area bubble.
Our first stop was a short two hour chat with Ari Weinzweig at the Zingerman's Coffee Company in Ann Arbor and it was here that I really began cementing some of the core ethical values from feelings into words on paper.

After listening through the entirety of A Confederacy of Dunces, discussing Hegel's mark on all things philosophical, hearing JJ talk deeply about the Rhetorical prowess of Cicero, drinking some the best (and worst) espresso I've had in my life, visiting dear friends (Hello Knudsen's!), seeing some of the most beautiful (and boring) parts of the U.S., and driving 3,109 miles... I arrived back in the Bay Area with both a business idea in mind, and a name: Rhetoric Coffee. Despite having found those two things the trip hadn't brought me any closer to finding what I needed most.

The Batman to my Robin.

Around August of 2015 our good friend Colin Curtin began asking me questions about starting a cafe [Ed. note: James told me not to do it, so here we are - C], a topic which I had some experience in, having co-founded Alchemy Collective in 2010. With a loan from Colin, and leaning heavily on his passion, optimism, and pure grit, we hammered out a Pinky and The Brain style plan for world coffee domination founded on my industry knowledge and our shared vision and ethics.
By December we were ready to roast, and start shipping out our first bags. We didn't have our website ready yet, and we weren't certain where to find our customers.

Colin suggested we go do a pop up at Ace Monster Toys during their holiday party and we suddenly found ourselves with some of our first and most loyal customers. We've come a long way since then, moving our screen printing into my garage, shipping our coffee in boxes, putting tasting notes on every bag, changing the art more consistently, launching our website, and even including a little update every roast.

We've grown from one customer (Hi Brian!) to over two hundred.