Culture & Cultivation: Cult Coffee Roaster is on the Rise


By Mary Hamel

The word “cult” gets a bad rap. However, when the negative connotations are taken away, the word cult simply describes a group of devoted supporters or fans. With this in mind, Rick Grayson founded Coffee Reserve Brands nearly 20 years ago. With a background in national foodservice distribution, Hans Schatz connected with Grayson through a mutual business opportunity that led to him joining a new division of the company, Cult Coffee Roaster, as President and CEO.

Kelly McCaffrey, Coffee Arabica Savant with the Brow Lifter nitro coffee cart.-resizeOperating in Phoenix, the Cult Coffee Roaster small warehouse facility is one of a kind, providing high-quality coffee, teas, botanicals and more to companies across the nation. Through new products and new brands, and at the hands of excellent leadership, Cult Coffee is on the rise.

So, what makes Cult Coffee Roaster so special? The answer is passion. With a 30+ year career in foodservice and leadership positions, Schatz has an appetite for the food industry that is a culmination of his entire career. He brings hard work and positive energy while working side by side with his employees to create some of the best coffee in the area. Loyalty is another quality exemplified by the company, with some employees having been there for more than a decade, such as Roastmaster Chris Marsitto, who has been with them for 14 years.

Schatz takes coffee seriously, but he also takes the planet seriously. The Loring roasting machine, Cult’s pride and joy, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption by up to 80 percent. The machine is incredibly efficient and works just as well, if not better and faster, than other roasters. Not to mention it produces a mean cup of Joe. Despite its high-end technology, this machine will likely never be the norm for coffee roasting companies. The reason? Price. Although the benefits of owning a Loring machine are large in number, unfortunately so is the cost to purchase the device. Currently, Cult Coffee Roaster is the only roasting company in Arizona to own this piece of green technology.

Roastmaster Christopher Marsitto with the Loring roaster machine.In addition to the Loring roaster, when it comes to sustainability Schatz said his main focus is on where the company buys its coffee beans. From small family owned farms in Guatemala, Costa Rica and Vietnam, to big plants and facilities in Nicaragua, Bolivia and Ethiopia, Cult Coffee receives the coffee beans at its Phoenix location to be roasted, then ships to companies all over the country. “We pay attention to who we resource from,” he said. “We buy from little farms and keep them vibrant to keep making fantastic products.”

By working with these smaller farms, Cult Coffee is creating positive business interactions as well as a devoted community of followers. The clients they sell to are being wowed constantly by the company’s innovations, like its Brow Lifter nitro coffee cart that turns heads wherever it goes.

Schatz has a passion for the food industry since “food and drink connect people,” he said. And when it brings people together, from sitting down at the dinner table with family or grabbing a cup of coffee with a friend, powerful things can happen. Life should be lived side-by-side with others, by joining ideas and creating a better future. Cult Coffee Roaster hopes to do just that.

For more on Cult Coffee Roaster, visit or email to book a tour.

Mary Hamel is a student at Southern New Hampshire University studying Creative Writing and English with a minor in Professional Writing. She hopes to one day publish a novel and enjoys hiking, reading and exploring new areas.

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