Introducing: Compostable Valves
Making a difference one cup of coffee at a time!
2020 was a year full of unforeseen twists and turns.  Unique situations can flourish from some of life’s unexpected curveballs; this is what happened to Mary and Tom, co-founders of Saw-Dog Coffee Roasters. From taking a chance on a coffee passion project to crossing paths with a fateful advertisement, and finding ways to create community connections during a pandemic… Mary and Tom are experts at navigating the unexpected.

Can a cup of coffee help the world?

“What if we sold our coffee to friends and neighbours, create a community, take some of the money we make from it and give. We can connect people and what they’re doing everyday (like drink coffee) and create a collective where every day, every cup of coffee that you drink is doing something”

-Mary, co-founder of Saw-Dog Coffee Roasters

As a true family business, Saw-Dog Coffee Roasters brings a new meaning to caring about the community. Based in South Burlington, Vermont, Saw-Dog Coffee Roasters started off as a passion project between husband and wife. After watching the devastating stories of families fleeing Syria on the news, Mary and Tom wanted to help make a difference, but were unsure how. The couple took their love of coffee and home roasting and began testing beans and roast profiles, asking friends and family to give feedback on the flavours. 
Combining the love of coffee and doing something good for the world became a no-brainer. Dedicated to giving back every year, Saw-Dog has previously made donations to White Helmets in Syria. Currently, Saw-Dog is actively involved with the Café Femenino Foundation and 1% for the planet.
Saw-Dog has always kept their local community in Burlington, Vermont in mind. The co-founders are dedicated to creating coffee that not only gives back, but also never compromises on flavour. So much so that Saw-Dog decided to pull their products out of the grocery store shelves and instead created a subscription model with “Coffee Drop” locations throughout the community. 
Mary, co-founder of Saw-Dog Coffee Roasters, explains, “people in the community volunteer their front porch for the neighbourhood, we would deliver there once a month. People can stop by and grab their coffee whenever it works for them.” By creating these Coffee Drop locations, every bag was sure to contain the freshest roasted beans possible. Saw-Dog has partnered with businesses such as cafés, yoga studios, and farm stands to deliver fresh, great coffee.
Saw-Dog Coffee Roasters started off as a therapeutic passion project, but prior to the pandemic, Tom and Mary decided to make it more of a full-time business. As you may be very aware, 2020 had some other surprises up its sleeve. The pandemic proved to provide Saw-Dog Coffee Roasters with a new set of challenges. With community being at the core of Saw-Dog’s values, Tom and Mary were able to be creative in ways that would bring the community together—even while respecting social distancing.  

When the Stars Aligned

“We’re in this relaunching phase and seeing this ad… the timing couldn’t have been more right… It was my sign.”

Scrolling through her Instagram feed one night, Mary happened to see an ad for the RT | Foundation Award contest. Reading further about the Foundation and learning that Rootree was interested in supporting and partnering with likeminded businesses focused on sustainability, Mary’s interest was piqued.
Running a business with your husband while raising a family doesn’t always leave one with a lot of free time. With a tight deadline, Saw-Dog’s application was submitted on the evening of the final submission date… after tucking their daughter into bed for the night. When Mary found out Saw-Dog was one of the winners of the RT | Foundation Award, she was completely stunned – she hadn’t even told her husband and business partner that she had applied!
Fast-forward a few months and Saw-Dog Coffee Roasters began their creative journey with Rootree. After meeting with the sales and creative teams virtually, Mary and Tom quickly realized that working with the Rootree team felt natural… as if everything was falling into place. 
When asked about her experience working with Rootree, Mary replied: “it’s been really special.” Throughout the entire creative process, Mary loved that Rootree was able to answer any and all questions that she and Tom have had, so they were able to make informed decisions for their business.

From discussing all the packaging options to material finishes and packaging sizes, the Saw-Dog team was thrilled to have their voices heard throughout the entire process. Mary and Tom also got to learn all about Rootree’s sustainability commitments, including how bags are produced in such a way that it reduces production waste. The Saw-Dog team loved exploring the possibilities of how their business can be efficient and sustainable in what they’re creating.

A Cup Full of Creativity

Working with the Creative Services team, Mary and Tom got to choose their new packaging design from a couple different options that had been created. They were happy to know that if any adjustments needed to be made to the packaging, the Rootree team was there to help.  Reflecting on the design process, Mary said, “it was not stressful, there was never a lack of communication.”

Along with being available for any last-minute Zoom calls to discuss fine details of the packaging, the Saw-Dog team was thrilled to receive a mock-up 3D version of their new pouch. To see the packaging brought to life was a dream come true.

Creating a Strong Brew

As Small Business Week is fast approaching, Mary reflects on her experience working with Rootree. “It’s been such a good and positive experience all the way through. Rootree has gone above and beyond making sure that this whole process worked for us. It’s been fun and exciting to work on the project, especially with how stressful things have been lately. It’s been a blessing to have this partnership—we’ll always appreciate it.” 

About the RT | Foundation 

Customized packaging can be a game-changer for new and developed companies alike, which is why we created this Award! Not only does customized packaging help brands stand out on the shelves, but it helps them develop trust and credibility with potential customers. We know that, as a small business, you likely have about 1,000 things on your to-do list, and customized packaging might not be one of your top 10 tasks. That’s why we take the stress and cost away from designing a package, and create something beautiful for our recipient, free of charge. No stress, no worry: just beautiful packaging. 
The 2021 RT | Foundation is accepting applications now through November 14th, 2021! Don’t miss out on a chance to win a prize with a value of $8,000!
“We want businesses in our community to thrive, because your success is our success.