Dilworth Coffee is a coffee distributor located on 4320 Delta Lake Drive in north Raleigh that has been around for the last 20 years. As a smaller coffee distributor, they not only serve larger corporations and businesses but also focus on the smaller, local cafes as well. Jeff Vojta, co-founder and CEO of Dilworth Coffee, spoke about the beginnings of Dilworth Coffee and why its focus is mostly on small cafes.
“We wanted to get great coffee experiences and great coffee drinks to people,” Vojta said. “That and just educating them on what good coffee meant, and we kind of went and grew from really focusing on the wholesale side. What we really found was that being one of the really early people with retail coffee shops, all these other people wanted a coffee shop… to put it in their restaurant or bakery, but didn’t know how.”
Thom Swain, the director of sales and support, elaborated on how Dilworth helps people run coffee shops and other smaller business that sell coffee.
“We offer tasting events in our store so that their customers can learn, see and hear about the coffee from the source,” Swain said. “We also offer a series of classes and workshops in our training center, so people from really anywhere, mostly local but really anywhere, can come in and get educated on many aspects of coffee, whether it's the sourcing, maybe how to taste coffee and how to buy great coffee, how we roast it, how to prepare [and] properly brew coffee, and how to prepare espresso drinks and other beverages like lattes and cappuccinos.”
Dilworth Coffee doesn’t just teach smaller businesses how to serve coffee; they also help out the Honduran farmers with whom they work. Vojta talked about how for a lot of the farmers’ children, it’s difficult to get an education past the fifth or sixth grade because there aren’t any public schools for them. Vojta said it’s hard for the children to get any further education because in those areas, the only schools are boarding or private, which are difficult for children of farmers to get into.
“So one of the big needs and goals they had was to build a middle school for the children of the workers,” Vojta said. “They work with Education 2 Envision, a nonprofit who sets them up. They were already in Honduras, so they can help set up the program and go there. So we decided with our direct sourcing and farmers, we would just tack on five cents a pound to help fund that. Over the course of the year, it’s probably $7,000-10,000.”
While Dilworth Coffee helps local businesses serve coffee and funds the educational system in Honduras, they are a very small company. Swain made comments about their size and their capabilities as well.
“Most people who come to visit to see who we are and what we do are really kind of surprised to see that we are not much larger than we really are,” Swain said. “I think we are a company of about 15 people. I believe we have customers in about 44 states.”
For more information or to order Dilworth Coffee, go here.