Maker Story: Quincy and Whitni Henry, Campfire Coffee
What we’ve found to be true—for us and for our makers—over and over again is that when you combine the things you love, magic follows. This was certainly the case for Quincy and Whitni Henry of Campfire Coffee, and not for lack of tests of faith along the way.
The Best Coffee In Tacoma
Based in Tacoma, Campfire Coffee was born out of the Henry family’s love of the outdoors. As the name suggests, Quincy and Whitni roast their beans over a campfire, an art that has been around for millennia that got lost when industrial roasters hit the scene. It took a fair bit of trial and error to get the beans roasted just so, and as soon as Quincy figured it out, he and Whitni were pretty certain they had struck Pacific Northwest gold. As you’ll come to find as soon as you take your first sip, the extra roasting care is not only completely worth it but likely stirs nostalgia in you of camping with your family growing up. If it doesn’t, it probably inspires you to get out and try becoming more outdoorsy on for size.
Campfire Coffee mixes outdoor fun with artisanal attention to detail. It suffuses experiencing the taste and smells and piping hot mug of something you love with outdoor laughter and memory-making, even when you’re not out on a fresh-aired adventure. Nowadays, gathering is a gift none of us take lightly and, if anything, Campfire Coffee gives us the opportunity to do just that—whether we’re reminiscing about the last ‘mallow roast we hosted or heading over to Campfire’s open-air shop in Tacoma.
Roasted Coffee Made In Washington
The idea for Campfire Coffee came to the Henrys when they were, naturally, on a road trip driving home to Washington from Utah. The shop was Whitni’s dream, and their love of the outdoors was a passion they shared.
It was 2017. The Henrys had three kids, Whitni was recovering from a work-related injury, and Quincy had just been bought out by the partners of a marketing agency he ran. Given the new space in their schedules, their years of experience working for other people, and the opportunity to dream, they decided it might be time to go all in on creating something uniquely them and perfectly Pacific Northwest.
Building Campfire Coffee
Roasting coffee themselves over an open fire wasn’t in Quincy and Whitni’s original business plan. Inspired by a conversation with Whitni’s sister, and frustrated by the minimum orders required by the suppliers they contacted, the Henrys started roasting their beans over a campfire at home. And then the Pacific Northwesty question became: Which woods should they use?
Over the years, Henry and Whitni have found the woods to roast their ethically-sourced coffee right in their own neighborhood. They’ve mixed fir and cedar, madrona and maple, and oak and alder. The woods can change from year to year, but the campfire taste is a mainstay.
You can find your preferred roast by tasting them one by one—we have their Campfire Coffee Starry Night Ethiopia Yirgacheffe (berries, rich, clean), Campfire Coffee Mountain Top Espresso Blend (chocolate, wood, smoke), and Campfire Coffee Summer Camp Mexico Chiapas (citrusy, bright, balanced). Not sure where to begin or like to enjoy different roasts at different points in your day? Add the Campfire Coffee Gift Set to your cart and try them all! You could even take it one step further in a move the Henrys would totally approve of and bring the set out to your next outdoor adventure for your whole crew to try. It doesn’t get much more Washington than hosting a coffee tasting right outside your tent door.
Back to building the company, though. After a short time spent dreaming, a whole lot of construction delays, and a global pandemic, Campfire Coffee opened the doors to its online store in March 2020 and its brick-and-mortar shop in August of that same year.
The Campfire Coffee and Made In Washington Connection
Becoming a part of Made In Washington alchemized all the work Quincy and Whitni did to get Campfire Coffee up and running.
When we spoke to Quincy, he told us seeing their coffee in Made In Washington stores was a “pinch yourself” moment for him.
“We've always admired the types of products Made In Washington carries, even before we thought about being in the coffee business, let alone being in a store like Made In Washington,” Quincy said.
“If visitors come to town or we want to show our friends and family something new and cool, Made In Washington is a must-visit because that's where you find emerging makers and brands, so to now be one of those brands is exciting. I can't think of how many times we've gotten something and gone on to have all kinds of conversations about it. Now, people are doing that with our stuff and it's because they found it at Made In Washington. That's a HUGE thing to put into perspective—that when people want to show off what makes our state as cool as it is, to commemorate that trip, or to give as a souvenir, they're going for a bag of Campfire Coffee to relay that message.”
For our part, we are honored to carry products from a brand committed not only to producing a beautiful (and tasty) experience for their customers but to making Washington the best it can be—for everyone.
It’s About More Than Just The Best Coffee In Tacoma
Shortly after launching Campfire Coffee, Quincy and Whitni made their larger mission clear: To make outdoor recreation more equitable and accessible to everyone. Their Campfire Explorer’s Club partners with other local nonprofits to get more people outside, especially people who haven’t previously been able to afford to. Their gear library includes tents, sleeping bags, and small single-use items like water purifiers and insect repellents.
The Henrys are proof that one family’s dream can impact whole ecosystems and communities in ways that do good for everyone.
Campfire Coffee’s Favorite Things About Washington
When we asked Quincy and Whitni to tell us their favorite things about Washington State, we knew their list would be extensive. And we were right!
Quincy reinforced his love of the outdoors: “Not only is the natural beauty here hard to beat, but we also love all the different types of beauty here,” he said.
“We’re big campers and hikers, and there's really no end to what you can see and do in nature in Washington State. I tell my out-of-state family and friends all the time that this is really and truly one of the only places in the continental US where you can wake up, grab a top-notch cup of coffee, and in two hours be hiking Mount Rainier, come back two hours and you can be kayaking the Puget Sound or one of the many rivers, then head two hours east, mountain bike through wine country for a little bit and by sunset, end the evening with a world-class glass of wine. Do many people do that in a day? I don't know, but the fact that you absolutely could have these supreme experiences all within our borders, all within a couple of hours' drive, is almost unfair to other parts of the country.”
We’ll raise a steaming cup of Joe to that. How about you?Campfire Coffee, a Black, veteran, and woman-owned coffee company operating with grit, love, and campfire is designed, crafted, and made in Tacoma, WA.