New coffee roaster, Goodbrew, partners with St. Louis-area schools

Coffee fans with an altruistic bent can meet both these needs via Goodbrew, a new local coffee company that partners with area schools to educate and raise funds while also providing quality java to the public.

Goodbrew, which debuted in December, is the brainchild of wife-and-husband duo Melissa and Steve Neske. The couple, who are also wedding videographers, wanted to start a new venture that combined their love of coffee with a desire to give back to the community.

After a year of throwing around ideas (“We thought about just opening a coffee shop, but we’re really not the types to wake up at 5 a.m. to open up,” said Melissa Neske), the pair came up with Goodbrew.

The premise is simple: source Arabica beans from sustainable producers in Africa and South America, then bring some of those beans to a local school and, with the help of some portable popcorn poppers, teach the students about the roasting process, as well as teamwork and entrepreneurship. The Neskes then add the roasted beans to their Roast of the Month batch, and 10 percent of that month's proceeds go back to the school.

Currently the couple is doing all of their roasting at their Clifton Heights home, but they hope to move operations into a dedicated facility in the near future. Goodbrew coffee is available online in whole bean or ground coffee.

Neske said they have been approached by some small shops interested in carrying their wares, though they intend to keep retail outlets at a minimum and expand delivery options for their coffee instead. 

Matt Sorrell is a staff writer at Sauce Magazine.