Michael and Cherita Rice started Mad Priest Coffee Roasters in 2015 as a social enterprise + small-batch specialty coffee roasting company with the mission to “Craft excellent coffee. Educate the curious. Champion the displaced.” From the beginning, the focus has always been first and foremost on providing the best quality product, roasting our unique coffees to bring out the characteristics of each bean. Our roastery team is constantly involved in Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) conventions and competitions, was named “Runner-Up in TN” in Food & Wine's “Best Coffee in Every State”, and one of our coffees earned two Golden Bean medals this year.
But even beyond the product, we wanted to run a sustainable, for-profit business with a triple bottom line that included social and environmental goals alongside the economic one. We started out to hire refugees resettled in Chattanooga, and the vision has since expanded to work alongside non-profits and individuals on larger issues of social justice, community, equity, and inclusion.