Winston was born and Raised in Pendleton Oregon, Kirbie was born and raised on the other side of the Blue Mountains in Baker City Oregon. They met in Pendleton in 2002. Kirbie was a Hair dresser and Winston was working on the family wheat ranch. After dating for a few years Winston convinced Kirbie to move to Alaska. They moved to Hollis Alaska, on the Prince of Wales Island, where Winston's grandfather had built a cabin on 2and 1/2 acres of waterfront property. Once they were settled into their new lives in Alaska, Winston operated heavy equipment and managed the export log yard for Viking Lumber. Kirbie partnered in, and eventually bought her own hair salon. As their time in Southeast Alaska went on it became apparent to both of us that we needed to look for a new way to provide for themselves, and not just work for others.
While living in Southeast Alaska Winston and Kirbie took a chance and purchased Wheelhouse Coffee Roasters, a coffee shop/bookstore located on the Prince of Wales Island. They were both eager to take on a new challenge, and who could go wrong with coffee and books. Over the course of the next three years they managed to not only survive, but grow a bit. This was no easy task considering that e-readers like kindle hit the market not long after they took over the business (crushing big and small bookstores around the globe). Not only that, but we saw the green coffee market jump to a fourteen year high. They had to adjust our business plan. The bookstore all but went away, and we began to focus on the sales and marketing of our (Small Batch Specialty Roasted Coffee). They spread Wheelhouse Coffee around Southeast Alaska as much as we could. Shipping is a killer when you live on an Island in Southeast Alaska, yet we were still able to spread out. After three years it became apparent, that they needed to move the business from the Island if we had intentions of continued growth. On top of that they had our first child (Farley Steven) in August of 2012, and it wasn’t far from our minds that it would be nice to be close to family.
After much consideration they moved the business back to my hometown of Pendleton Oregon. In doing so they had to re-brand. So Buckin’ Bean Coffee Roasters opened its doors in May of 2012. Buckin Bean is the only Coffee Roaster in Umatilla County. Winston and Kirbie operate their coffee shop in Pendleton on the corner of NW 4th and Despain Ave. We have done away with the bookstore end of the business, and now focus all of our energy on fresh roasted coffee, and homemade baked goods from our small kitchen. Almost three years, another kid (Lincoln Thomas) into it, and they are still here.
They are offering our customers a high quality alternative to the “EVIL EMPIRE”, and all of their other national chain cohorts. Winston and Kirbie are working very hard at taking back a portion of their market. They are focused on consistency. They roast with Diedrich IR-3, at the top end we can roast about 6 pounds of green beans per batch. Diedrich Roasters allow us direct control over air flow and temperature. By using infra-red burners rather than direct flame Diedrich Roasters allow the roast master to get the most consistent roasted coffee on the market. This on top of the fact that we are small batch makes sure that we are delivering the highest quality products to our customers.
Winston and Kirbie's wholesale sales have been expanding. Their coffee is available in several locations around the area, and they are always looking to increase our footprint. They also offer private labeling. At this point in time they private label for 5 different vendors.