Photographs of Alabaster Coffee Roaster & Tea Co. creating in their studio which can be found in Lycoming County.
“Coffee or die.”
That’s the motto of Alabaster Coffee Roaster & Tea Co. in Williamsport. The nationally award-winning micro-roaster and coffee bar was established in 2010 as a small, family-owned business looking to make a difference both locally and globally.
In high school, business owner Karl Fisher was an apprentice for a local violin shop, whose owner roasted coffee. With interest piqued, he built a home roast hobby as he went to school for violin performance and to be a youth pastor.
He would eventually take the leap to fill a void on Main Street in Williamsport.
So how do they do what they do?
They take the time, effort, and expense to go straight to the source to speak to farmers and their families. They see the coffee beans through from seed to cup. These interactions not only yield a better product for Alabaster, but educate the farmers about what brewers and roasters want, so that they can maximize their profits.
“We’re fighting poverty through quality,” Karl says.
Aside from having a store front and roasting almost every business day — for local retail and wholesale nationwide — Fisher is also particularly proud of the entrepreneurship program it runs at the high school to teach business principles.
These images were captured by Katie Weidenboerner Deppen as part of the 2017 Creative Makers Exhibit, a traveling showcase of creative makers working in the PA Wilds.
More about the show here. Proceeds from the sales of the Creative Makers Exhibit photographic tiles & posters will go back into the work of the Wilds Cooperative and the extension of this project as we will continue photographing the creative makers living and working in the PA Wilds.
Each tile measures 8 in x 8 in and is mounted on foam core that is approximately 3/4 in thick and comes with adhesive attached for wall mounting.
Please note: Orders for photographic tiles are placed in a batch at the end of each month with the vendor, and then take an additional 2 weeks for delivery. Please be prepared that your order could take 4-6 weeks for delivery.
Over 10 years ago, a groundbreaking effort began to brand a quarter of the Commonwealth as the "Pennsylvania Wilds" and invest in it to create a premier nature, heritage and cultural destination that would fuel local economies and inspire stewardship among the people who live, work, play and visit the region. Engaging the region's artists and craftspeople in the work is key to building a meaningful regional brand and infusing pride into economically-distressed communities. The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania, our membership program that supports artisans and entrepreneurs through such regional branding, was born out of this belief. Today, nearly 200 local artists and craftspeople participate in this juried arts and business development program. "Creative Makers" reflects the splendor and uniqueness of the Pennsylvania Wilds landscape and rural lifestyle, and the resourcefulness and talent of the artists who live and work here. PA Wilds Juried photographers captured the images, and our goal with the exhibit is to help tell the story of the creative individuals living and working in the PA Wilds.
This project is made possible through grants from the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts.
The PA Wilds is home to an impressive and diverse community of skilled artisans, craftspeople, and producers working across a variety of media. The PA Wilds Conservation Shop is proud to source and curate our shop using products made the many talented makers of The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania.
Learn more about our sourcing now.
PA Wilds Conservation Shops are owned and operated by the Pennsylvania Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc. a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit. To learn more about our nonprofit mission please visit pawildscenter.org.