It wasn’t like Christopher Baldwin just woke up one morning and smelled the proverbial coffee.
The longtime Whidbey resident and graphic designer is a devout “coffee enthusiast” and the idea of starting his own java business has been percolating in his mind for awhile. But it was the slow grind of life during the pandemic that gave him the opportunity to take the plunge.
“Interestingly enough, during the pandemic you think it’d be a terrible time, but it’s actually given me more time to get my legs underneath me,” Baldwin said.
Baldwin started the coffee brand, Island Time Coffee Company, a few months ago. His blends recently hit the shelves of South Whidbey grocers.
He consults with his son, Cameron, a recent business graduate from Western Washington University who has helped launch the business by creating content for the brand’s social media accounts. Baldwin partners with a local roaster.
The company’s line of products include dark, medium and light roasts with Whidbey-themed names, such as Deception Dark, Ferry Line Blues and Beach Walk Bliss.
“The nice thing about this product and this brand,” he said, “it speaks to anyone in the Puget Sound area who has an emotional connection with the island.”
He added that the blend is “bolder” and “a little more assertive.” Beans are sourced from farms in Latin America and roasted in small batches.
“These farms are dedicated to sustainable agriculture practices,” he said.
A percentage of proceeds from online sales will go to Food 4 Farmers, an organization that helps coffee-growing communities in Latin America overcome food insecurity.
This spring, Island Time Coffee Company will be developing a Salish Orca blend — a dark roast — and partnering with the Orca Network. Ten percent of net sales will be donated to the whale-sighting nonprofit group.
A French roast is also in the works for the business.
Baldwin is hopeful that the brand will work its way up Whidbey and hit stores in Coupeville and Oak Harbor next.The blends are currently available at the Ken’s Korner Red Apple, the Star Store, the Goose Grocer and Payless Foods.
Coffee can also be purchased through the online store at islandtimecoffeeco.com.