What is a cairn? Merriam-Webster defines cairn as “a heap of stones piled up as a memorial or as a landmark.” It is derived from the Scottish Gaelic “carn” with the same meaning. These markers have occurred throughout history and around the world in various forms and names. For example, the Indigenous peoples of the arctic north called them inuksuk and there is one on the flag of the Canadian territory Nunavut. You can read more about cairns through this Wikipedia article.
Why did we choose this as our company name? Well, we really enjoy the outdoors and have hiked or spent time in a variety of locations throughout the United States. These markers appeared in various sizes along trails, memorably in the Pacific Northwest. Sometimes they are purposeful and mark the way ahead on a trail. Sometimes they are just the result of people creating photo opportunities. We liked the name because of its connection to hiking and the outdoors, and because it’s somewhat unique and (we hope) memorable. We want to create a landmark for quality coffee in Concord, NC that can be accessed and enjoyed by everyone.
While cairns are interesting and stand out as an obvious manmade structure in an otherwise uninhabited area, we don’t encourage the random construction of cairns along trails and streams in parks or the wilderness. Keep it as natural as you can and leave no trace.
Enjoy some fresh coffee and fresh air!
- Blaine Freeman, Owner, Cairn Coffee Roasters