Cree Coffee Co. owner and founder is Dylan Tootoosis, a proud descendant of Chief Poundmaker. His grandparents are from Poundmaker Cree Nation, Saskatchewan, Canada. Dylan currently resides in Calgary, Alberta, Treaty 7 Territory which is also home to Cree Coffee Co.
As an Indigenous owned and operated business, Cree Coffee proudly sources our beans directly from the Indigenous farmers in South America. There, the beans are grown sustainably by a local family network. Our bean is certified Organic and 'Direct Trade' which in our opinion is superior to 'Fair Trade' due to it benefiting both the farmer and coffee clientele in the most equitable way.
Dylan's appreciation for coffee began early at the age of eleven when his grandfather 'Choomie' would sneak him sips of his instant coffee from his thermos and laugh. Meanwhile his grandmother 'Kookum' would make tea and Saskatoon pie for his cousins and they would sit around the wood stove fire. These fond memories originate from a small wooden building that used to be the Band Office for Poundmakers Cree Nation which Dylan's Grandmother converted into a place where she would skin rabbits and keep warm in case the heat went out in their home.
Years later, Dylan found himself working as a Barista in downtown Calgary, learning the art of espresso making, cappuccinos, Americanos, and all the other specialty coffee beverages. Afterwards he then found himself a job at a coffee company as a Sales Associate and Delivery driver. He left in 2010 with aspirations to start up his own coffee business. In the beginning, he was met with many challenges and adversity. He had approached every coffee company in Calgary with the hopes to rebrand and they all turned him down. Eventually Dylan met himself a mentor, Jorge Masso, from South America and he showed him how to roast coffee beans. Dylan then got his own roaster and started up his own business.
The name for Cree Coffee Co. was inspired by Dylan's youngest daughter 'Cree' as well as his own nation as a Cree First Nations man. Our founder also now has five years of sobriety behind him after a past struggle with alcohol. It is his traditional Cree culture which he attributes his sobriety to and the success of his business. The logo is likened to a gold seal to attest to the fine quality of Cree Coffee as it is organic, without any preservatives or additives and is 'just all-natural, clean coffee'. Our logo also includes the four colors of the Medicine Wheel which resonates with the way our founder tries to balance his life in a healthy way. These four colours inspired Cree Coffee Co's coffee blends Dylan created:
- Yellow - Yellow Roast - “Nehiyaw” (COMING SOON)
- White - Decaf - “Thunderbird”
- Red - Medium Roast - “The Sisters”
- Red - Medium Roast - “Nehiyaw” (LIMITED STOCK)
- Black - Dark Roast - “Poundmaker”
Dylan first began selling Cree Coffee on the Powwow Trail by the cup and by the pound. From there his business has grown substantially. Cree Coffee can be found served in select restaurants and it is also available for retail purchase. Cree Coffee Co. has a new online store that just launched June 2019.