Q+A WITH RAMZI, CO-FOUNDER OF HALE
It’s 6:30 on a Monday morning. You’re lying in bed awake, eyes still closed to shut out the reality of the morning just a wee bit longer, when the dreaded “radar” alarm comes screaming at you from your iPhone. You contemplate snoozing one more time, but manage to convince yourself this is it, it’s time to get up. Main motivation to get out of bed? COFFEE. Most days, you would head straight to your Keurig, but you decide to treat yourself today. You hit your local coffee shop and ask the hipster barista for a double espresso. But it’s early, so foggy-brained and sleepy-eyed you pronounce the “x” in espresso. He rolls his eyes, silently shaming your lack of coffee culture. Déjà brew anyone? If you are a cof-fiend you can #relate. We’ve have all been here. All you wanted was espresso, but the pretentiousness that comes with most specialty coffees has just left you depresso. You deserve quality without having to be subject to the judgmental barista who thinks they have a degree in java.
Well, thanks to Hale Coffee Roasters you no longer have to! Our beloved Yorkdale coffee roaster and Toronto’s own Hale Coffee Roasters started so they can bring specialty coffee to the market without the side of elitist attitude. Aka a cup of Joe for the average Joe (or Jane.) Hales missions is to make specialty coffee approachable and accessible. Beans for all human beings? We’ll roast to that! We are so excited to be brewing their beans at our Yorkdale store and are even more excited for our guests to sip some for themselves! But for now, check out our Q+A with Ramzi, coffee connoisseur, and co-founder of Hale Coffee Roasters.
by CHLOE.: Thanks for chatting with us. Please introduce yourself:
R: I’m Ramzi, I’m an entrepreneur, coffee addict, nice guy and I run the Hale Coffee company
bC: With so many coffee roasters in the market, why should we all be choosing Hale? How did it all begin?
R: Hale started in 2013, at the time I came from an industrial engineering background and my business partner from banking, We both reached a mode in the corporate life, commonly known as the f*** it mode and realized we needed to switch things up, stop working for other people and start doing something we had a real passion for. Both of us had (and still do) an excessive love for, it’s this that saw us tour the city for a coffee roaster for my partners’ cousin’s bakery. We found two different types of roasters, the old school dark roast, high volume who would talk price and volume. On the other side of that you have the specialty coffee guys and the rise of the baristas – they’re all about the coffee, the farms and science however which is incredible, the certain exclusivity and snobbery attitude not so much. In turn, this lead us wanting to bring the amazing specialty coffees into the market, but offer something that was approachable and accessible – focusing on the people.
bC: What’s Hales mission and how does this set you apart?
H: Hales missions is to make specialty coffee approachable and accessible for all human beings. It’s what sets us apart, we focus on people and relationships and create a trust between the supplier and farmers as well as our clients – we focus on quality and the social aspect of coffee.
bC: We’re so happy to have partnered with Hale! What excites you about working with by CHLOE?
R: Brand and mission synergy – teamed with your focus on local partners and QUALITY. We love working with the team and regularly come by the store – it comes back to people.
bC: What is next for Hale? Where do you hope to see the company in the next five years?
H: We’re opening our third shop! For 2020 and the next few years, we’re going with organic expansion, looking at the best locations to enter to fulfill our objective of spreading specialty coffee into uncharted territories for everyone. The growth won’t be aggressive and will be a balanced split on wholesale and cafes.
bC: What advice would you give to any entrepreneurs or start-ups?
H: You will fail and don’t be afraid of this, but keep going and learning. Choose the people around you carefully – bring the best people into your business, a strong team is what you need to carry your vision forward – it’s all about the people.
bC: What does by CHLOE.’s motto “eat well, eat with purpose” mean to you?
H: I love the by CHLOE. motto because it can be applied and related to everything. Do everything well and do it with purpose… no matter what it is. You know you are what you eat, if you eat well you are well and live with purpose comes back to always keep going.
Personal Mantra? Keep going.
How’d you have your coffee? Ramzi-ccino – served only in my mug and less foamy.
Whatcha readin’? Elon Musk’s biography.
Last Netflix binge? Top Boy.
Go-to karaoke song? “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing.”
Hidden gem in Toronto? Hale Coffee + Jung Soo Nae
Favorite place on earth? Volcano in Nicaragua – it overlooks the coffee farms where we’re buying from.
3 emojis that best describe you? 🙏🙈💝
Favorite artist to watch? Mike Birbiglia, will watch anything that he breathes and my favorite story teller.
Dream dinner guest? David Attenborough who I’ve always looked up to + my Dad when he was my age.