Essential Beans

The Carrabassett Coffee Company keeps caffeine and business flowing in a pandemic

The history of Carrabassett Coffee Company isn’t a complicated one. One day, a couple of area ski bums were sitting around a popcorn popper, using it to roast coffee beans. “It kind of snowballed from there,” says Jarod Frigon, who has been with the roastery since 2016. “We roasted our first batch of beans on January 1, 1996.” Since then, the company has grown from two core founders to a group of 12 to 25 employees, depending on the season.

The roastery’s beans are sourced from around the world: Indonesia, Africa, the Americas, and Ethiopia, to name a few. But Carrabassett Coffee may be best known for its blends. One of the original founders had a great palate, so he played around and created a variety of blends— some of which are still being sold 20 years later. One of these blends, called Backdraft, is the most popular. It’s dark and smoky, with beans from Central America and Indonesia.

When the pandemic hit, the company saw a sharp decline in wholesale accounts for restaurants and inns, but orders to ship coffee to homes skyrocketed, says Frigon. “Coffee is considered essential, so we never fully shut down.” If customers don’t want to or can’t visit the roastery in person, they can call or email to order beans, which can be shipped or left on the roastery’s porch for pickup at any time. 

Jarod Frigon’s Favorite Coffee Shops in Maine

Java Joe’s
-154 Main St., Farmington
-Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel, Carrabassett Valley

The Crooked Mile Cafe
-8 Milk St., Portland
-428 Brighton Ave., Portland Cafe

-450 Main St., Norway

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