Portland is known for its coffee scene. Its specialty roasters, cafes, and award-winning baristas have put it on the map. But, outside the world of food and beverage, Portland is known for many things: outdoor sports, Portlandia, and, among animal rights activists, our love of dogs. A Safewise survey named Oregon the most pet-friendly state in the country, thanks to our numerous no-kill shelters, dog parks, and strict anti-abuse laws. There’s enough interest in adopting dogs here that we ship in strays from other states.
Jaclyn Leedy and Mark Wilcox are familiar with both of these communities. Leedy was involved with the local dog rescue community, and both Wilcox and Leedy had worked in coffee. So they decided to combine their passions to create Mutt’s Coffee: A roaster that highlights specific rescue dogs, donating 25 percent of its profits to Free State Four Paws, an Alabama-based dog rescue and advocacy group.
When Leedy and Wilcox release a roast, they feature an actual rescued dog on the cover, and tell their story on social channels. For instance, Jada was rescued from a cable in 2020, and was sent to a rescue in New York. Her story was meant to note the issues with tethering dogs, which can be very dangerous for them; in fact, it’s against the law in states like Oregon. Jada appeared on a Guatemalan light roast, which Leedy and Wilcox delivered across Portland and shipped nationwide. “I really was asking myself, ‘How do I use coffee to tell these stories, of the real dogs, and real people rescuing them?’” Leedy says. “We don’t have a huge following by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ve seen social media be a really powerful tool.”
The two post the dog’s story on their website, so people can read up on past dogs after the roast sells out. The shop also allows customers to choose their own cover art or featured dog, and offers merch like stickers and mugs. The roasts themselves often feature beans from countries like Vietnam, Guatemala, and Columbia. Currently, Mutt’s is available for local delivery and nationwide shipping, but soon Wilcox and Leedy will begin appearing at farmers markets. Keep an eye on social channels to learn more.