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Verve came to be through the serendipitous union of surf, sweat and a love of life and living. In 2007, founders Ryan and Colby built and opened the first Verve cafe on 41st Ave in Santa Cruz, California. Today, Verve has locations in cities from Los Angeles to San Francisco to Japan, but our roots remain planted in Santa Cruz, where we roast our coffee on vintage roasters and enjoy the endless surf of the rugged California coast.
Verve Coffee Roasters, Co-founder
While exploring the coffee scene in Seattle and Portland, O’Donovan honed his knowledge of the coffee process and his tasting palate by roasting and cupping new coffees as frequently as possible. Like a true aspiring craftsman, he purchased a sample roaster for his home. After tasting the best coffees in the region, he’d return to his workshop to try and replicate the flavor profiles. Before long, he was creating his own roasting profiles and sharing his home concoctions with friends and family. When his college buddy, Colby Barr, called him out of the blue with the wild idea to start a coffee roasting operation together, O’Donovan was all-in without a second thought.
Verve Coffee Roasters, Co-founder
Colby Barr grew up farming pears and wine grapes with his family in Northern California. From an early age, Barr was immersed in the family business where he learned first hand about soil, responsible growing, and the relationship between farmers, processors, buyers, and ultimately, consumers. While in college, Barr developed a passion for coffee, and he often found himself visiting his favorite local coffee shop daily. When the opportunity to buy said shop arose, Barr could not deny his entrepreneurial spirit. As a newfound coffee shop owner, he quickly fell in love with the intricacies of coffee and the incredible process from green bean to brewed beverage. After a year successfully growing this business, Barr called his college pal and fellow coffee aficionado, Ryan O’Donovan, with the hare-brained idea to start their own coffee roasting company. The rest is history...
Verve Coffee Roasters, CEO
For Mike, Verve started as fuel for his busy, corporate lifestyle. Eyre, an MBA graduate and CPA, was managing a hedge fund and working as CFO for a Silicon Valley company when he began helping friends Ryan and Colby, who had recently founded Verve. Eventually, the allure of working with passionate friends on a promising business inspired Eyre to partner with Ryan and Colby to build Verve. Slowly transitioning from late-night financial consultant to CEO, Eyre has spent the last nine years growing Verve Coffee Roasters from a local Santa Cruz, CA operation with six employees to a world-renowned coffee company with over 200 employees and eleven storefronts, and more on the horizon.
Our Farmlevel Initiative supports every hand that holds our coffee, from seed to cup, positively impacting communities at the local and global level. By connecting you with farmers, the Initiative creates an open line of communication that transcends distance, language and culture. The Farmlevel Initiative is vital to the future of coffee. Farmlevel shows farmers that their work matters, their attention to detail is noticed, and that we support them. We pay our farmers premiums for quality coffees through direct trade relationships. Our direct trade practice allows us to exceed Fair Trade minimums every time, no exceptions.
The term "Streetlevel" encapsulates everything we do in order to share our coffees with our community. Inspired by neighborhood "street level" cafes of Europe, where community members meet every morning to discuss elements of life over espresso and cappuccinos, the life that happens within our cafes vibrates with a similar energy. Streetlevel is also the name of our flagship espresso blend, designed to be approachable, chocolatey, and super sweet in espresso drinks. Our Streetlevel atmosphere allows us to celebrate what it means to sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee. Verve cafes celebrate life and the aesthetics of living, and the way coffee unites us all in an international community.
We work with vintage Probat roasters updated with the most state of the art components and monitoring software, which helps us roast with great consistency. Nothing in our roasting facility is automated. Everything we do, we do by hand and with great attention to detail.