The Beginning

In 1997, four families came together with the idea of improving the lives of producers through fair trade. We were keen to see the principles of Fair Trade applied to foods we consume every day.

OUR STORY

From Crop to Cup

We began buying coffee from Colombia and roasting it at night in a borrowed space in downtown Victoria, BC! Our Colombian coffee purchases supported a non-profit, Famicafé, and funded education scholarships for coffee farmers’ children. 

As Level Ground grew up, so did the Fair Trade movement. Over time, we continued to meet amazing farmers growing beautiful coffees, looking for fair prices to support their work. And, we’re all about that!

Our drive for fair trade and desire to open more markets for small-scale farmers drove us to expand to tea, dried fruit and cane sugar. But throughout, coffee remained the centre of our work.

Today, we’re excited to combine the deep knowledge of direct trade, relationships with impressive farmer co-ops and the expertise of our quality team to elevate coffee for everyone. 

Purpose

We elevate coffee for everyone, from farmer to customer

USDA Organic Certified icon
USDA Organic

Canada Organic Certified icon
Canada Organic Certified

Fair Trade Federation Certified icon
Fair Trade Federation

Fairtrade International Certified icon
Fairtrade International

SCA Member icon
SCA Member

Man, woman hold coffee sack

It all started in 1997

Four families on Vancouver Island, Canada joined together to begin importing coffee from Colombia. We were determined to showcase great coffee and champion paying higher prices to the farmers who grew this premium grade specialty coffee. We started small, balancing our day jobs and roasting at night, taking shifts between roasting 5lbs at a time and sleeping. 

Before it was common to speak of local economy, carbon footprint or sustainability initiatives, we sought to rally those who could envision a more just economy and future. 

Male farmer reviews green coffee beans for defects

Meeting the Farmers

As an upstart company, we gained momentum by doing what we loved: connecting with small-scale farmers, honing our craft as speciality coffee roasters and sharing stories of social impact in coffee farming communities to all who would listen. Our values aligned strongly with Ten Thousand Villages and they became our first commercial customer.   

Organic dried fruit packages in row on table

Dried Fruit

Due to the global coffee crisis in 2002, we saw an opportunity to support Colombian farmers in different regions of the country. The subtropical climate lends itself to growing so many fruits and was another opportunity for rural Colombians.

SCA Member icon

Specialty Coffee Association

As a member since 2004, we appreciate the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) and the guidance, enthusiasm and community it has provided.

Close up tea leaves in tea garden, Assam India

Beyond Coffee

Dried Fruit 
Dried Fruit was added to our portfolio when we were introduced to Fruandes. Fruandes is a Colombian company with a similar mission to Level Ground but focused on fair prices for small-scale fruit farmers and developing positive employment through processing dried fruit.

Tea

Through our friends at Fertile Ground, we were introduced to small tea growers in Assam India. The tea growers wanted their organic tea to fetch a higher price in the market and were devising ways to manufacture their own tea instead of selling the fresh leaves to large conventional factories. Level Ground became their first wholesale customer.  

300g coffee packages in row on table, potted plants behind

Sharing the Experience

Our offering of coffee expanded beyond Colombia to more and more countries! In order to keep up with our expansion, we had to move to new roasting facilities. 

Exterior Level Ground facility, bike rack, tasting room, man drinking coffee

Expanding our Horizons

The world of specialty foods continues to stretch us. We're excited to see new partnerships, better information, and farmer co-ops investing in their infrastructure and communities. Most exciting to see is customers with passion for great coffee and valuing fair trade, organic and premium quality products. We are excited to share specialty coffee, tea, fruit and sugar with you!

Want to know more about Level Ground?

FACT ONE
ALL of our products are Fair Trade.
FACT TWO
We built Level Ground with a focus on helping communities grow, expand and flourish with education and support.
Man brewing french press coffee, lady sitting on kitchen counter watching
FACT THREE
Our products are natural and without additives and preservatives. Au natural, just like nature intended.
FACT FIVE
2022 will mark our 25th year as a company, 20th year of selling dried fruit and 10th year selling tea!
FACT FOUR
To learn more about our team, visit our About Us page.
Man brewing french press coffee, lady sitting on kitchen counter watching
FACT ONE
ALL of our products are Fair Trade.
FACT TWO
We built Level Ground with a focus on helping communities grow, expand and flourish with education and support.
FACT THREE
Our products are natural and without additives and preservatives. Au natural, just like nature intended.
FACT FIVE
2022 will mark our 25th year as a company, 20th year of selling dried fruit and 10th year selling tea!
FACT FOUR
To learn more about our team, visit our About Us page.