It's important to occasionally be able to celebrate, even when the world feels weird.
Here at Sprudge we're celebrating five years of our globe-spanning Coffee Design series, curated by Sprudge co-founder Zachary Carlsen. A living archive of innovation and experimentation in the visual medium of the coffee bag, from humble homemade designs to leading in-house art work, collaborations with gifted artists to big deal whiz-bang firms. Coffee packaging and design is art!
Bellingham, Washington's Camber Coffee is no stranger to beautiful packaging, debuting an artist series for special offerings late last year. But this new work represents a complete redesign Camber's coffee bags, a process that's taken nearly three years from concept to release. We're thrilled to sit down with David Yake to learn more about the new look.
Before we talk design, we want to know how y’all are doing here in September.
We've stopped pretending we have any idea what tomorrow brings. Summer has had its share of silver linings though. In July, the city approved the transformation of Holly Street, where our cafe is located, into a pedestrian plaza/seating area, which has been a ball! In addition to miraculously transforming our business model every few weeks, our crew has also done an amazing job of finding new ways to connect with our customers, such as our jam-packed Summer School coursework. These educational courses were so well received that we're going to keep them going into fall (with our Back-to-School program). This month's course is focused on pour-over techniques (if folks want to learn more they can head over to our IG @cambercoffee).
Camber Coffee is releasing new packaging and it’s gorgeous. How long has this been in the works?
Seriously! We started talking about these bags shortly after opening our cafe in July 2017. We saw the first round of artwork in 2018 and then went through a long process of material trials and drawdown approvals. We're really happy with how it all turned out!
Tell us about the new look.
The inspiration for these designs came during a hike in the Chuckanuts—the coastal mountain range near Bellingham. There are lichen-kissed sandstone formations there, which take on a mesmerizing marbling effect. We sent photos of these rocks to our friend and designer, Eric Fisher. This was in 2017. After literal years of iterations, we finally landed on the final product. We've long marveled at how coffee occupies this beautiful, delicate space between nature and humankind. For us, this packaging occupies a similar space.
Who designed it?
The wildly talented, bundle of love and goodwill, Eric Fisher.
Where are Camber Coffees available these days?
Milstead & Co
The Maker Cafe in Hudson, NY
Cafe Dulce (for a limited time)
Dayglow (for a limited time)
La Marzocco Cafe (for a limited time)
Beleza Coffee (for a limited time)
Velocity Coffee in beautiful Port Townsend (for a limited time)
Kumquat (for a limited time)
Narrative (for a limited time)
How has the coffee community been holding up in your area during this time?
I mean, a lot of people are hurting. But it's also brought folks closer together in a lot of ways. We actually hosted a virtual throwdown back in the early days and during that event, it was clear that folks were really craving a sense of connection with coffee friends. Some days when I get down, I think of in-person coffee events and it lifts my spirits a bit.
When we get back to traveling, how would you recommend we spend the day in Bellingham?
It's been wild to see all of the folks that are forging ahead with openings these days. Some exciting recent openings are Storia Cucina, Carnal, and Lorikeet. I also dream of spending lazy Sundays at the adorable Cafe Blue in Fairhaven (who features coffee from our friends at Steed Coffee). Of course, you can't go wrong with a swim in Fragrance Lake or a visit to Wander Brewing (we are still a capital B beer town after all). If you really want to treat yourself, check out our friends & wholesale partners at the Willows Inn on Lummi Island. We'd love to see you :)
Check out Camber Coffees's official web site and web shop here.
Zachary Carlsen is a co-founder and editor at Sprudge Media Network. Read more Zachary Carlsen on Sprudge.
Disclosure: Camber Coffee is an advertising partner on Sprudge.