Blaine and Leah Freeman have been privileged to live in several locations across the country. They raised their two children in the Pacific Northwest where they learned to enjoy high-quality craft coffee, beer and wine. Blaine also is well travelled throughout Europe, the Middle East and the United States where he was introduced to coffee that was brewed and served differently than his experience growing up in Pennsylvania.
The Freemans moved to Concord, NC in 2012 and after learning to roast their own coffee at home decided to open a small-batch coffee roastery in 2020. Cairn Coffee Roasters sources high-grade beans through importers who are fair and responsible when purchasing from farmers. We are certified through Fair Trade USA and believe in business practices that benefit all communities involved in the process. When you purchase one of our roasts you can be assured of a flavorful cup of coffee, that the farm and community that produced it benefited, and a portion of the sale will go toward supporting trail and conservation organizations.
Our commitment to conservation and support for outdoor recreation is confirmed by our certification as a 2% for Conservation business member. 2% for Conservation means we donate 1% of our sales revenue plus 1% of our time annually to support organizations that provide us all with the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.
Conservation organizations we support include:
- Carolina Thread Trail
- Friends of the Smokies
- Mountains-to-Sea Trail
- Southern Conservation Trust
- Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
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.