Purpose Roasters opens doors in Colfax to wide community support

Married owners explain how their business grew from popcorn poppers into fully stocked shop



Owner Janelle Harrison talks about how she and her husband Travis Harrison began to brew coffee two years earlier in their garage which is the start to their coffee business on Saturday at Purpose Roasters in Colfax.

ZACH GOFF, Evergreen reporter

In small towns, change can be met with adversity, but in the case of Purpose Roasters Coffee Shop the community has accepted it with open arms.

Married owners Janelle and Travis Harrison have been roasting their own coffee beans for about 30 years. They started with a popcorn popper and slowly extended their business until demand prompted them to open a fully-stocked shop.

The Harrisons have done everything themselves, from experimenting with their doughnut recipes to making flavored syrups in-house.

“We had a very thorough training so that all of our workers know our history and know their coffee as best as they can,” Janelle said.

The business has steadily grown, and Janelle said the shop is the child of meticulous planning and detail.

“Doing the work ourselves took a little longer but the team has come together in such a great way,” she said. “We really have become like a big family.”

Janelle said she spent months choosing all different chairs and tools, even acquiring a sleek steamer so Purpose Roasters’ employees can interact with the customers.

“Someday I think we’ll look back at this and think how amazing this is, like, ‘Remember when we used to do interviews sitting on the floor because we didn’t have enough space?’ ” Janelle said.

Janelle earned a doctorate in adult learning and originally used it to teach classes on how to run a business. Now she said she’s come full circle and practices what she preached.

Both Travis and Janelle are self-taught on the intricacies of coffee shops. Travis said he focuses mainly on the coffee, while Janelle manufactures the chocolate or other original flavors for their assorted menu.

“I’m like a mad scientist and I play with the recipes until I get them right,” Janelle said. “We want the unexpected but delicious flavors.”

Some locals of Colfax voiced their support and excitement for the local business, which in general received a lot of attention during Saturday’s grand opening.

Janelle said 5 percent of the profits from the bean sales go to a charity of the month.

“The goal is not to be a popularity contest but to spotlight the amazing work different charities are doing across the country,” she said.

Travis and Janelle said Purpose Roasters hopes to expand to the point of possibly having another shop within the next 10 years.

“That’s why we are Purpose Roasters — to help people find their purpose in life,” Janelle said.