This accountability report serves as a benchmark for improvement and to educate staff, wholesale clients, and guests.


Commonplace Coffee began publishing a coffee accountability report in 2020 and has expanded over the past few years to include additional organizational information. This practice helps us to pursue our mission and values, learn from past decisions, and plan for the future as we work to source coffee equitably, improve our operations, and support our staff.


Commonplace Coffee aims to source coffee in a way that supports our supply chain’s long-term sustainability, roast coffee in a way that honors the growers, and brew coffee in a way that provides the best guest experience.


We are passionate about creating community for our staff, the neighborhoods we serve, our wholesale clients, partners, and the coffee industry at large.


We are unable to pursue our mission and values without holding ourselves accountable to the influence we have on the coffee supply chain.


As a small coffee roaster, our impact on the coffee industry as a whole may be slight, but our buying decisions can significantly impact the farms and logistical partners with whom we work.


As always, we invested significantly in valued producers, origins, and logistical partners that are doing great work in specialty coffee and helping to build a sustainable future for the industry. We broadened our scope with more adventurous, limited offerings, and we are in a great position to achieve the goals we set for 2024.

Chart Explained

Commonplace Coffee: The monthly average per pound FOB price paid for green coffee.


C Market: The monthly average of coffee prices traded on the New York Stock Exchange in 2023. To simplify the complexity of commodity trading, the price is independent of quality and based on supply, demand, and speculation. The C Market significantly affects farmers, who typically sell their coffee at the current C Market rate.


Fairtrade: In May 2023, Fairtrade International announced that they would be increasing the Fairtrade Minimum from $1.40 per pound to $1.80 per pound. Before this change, the last time that the C Market was below the Fairtrade Minimum was March 2021, so this announcement was made over 2 years after the C Market had largely surpassed what was deemed the minimum for “Fairtrade” coffee. This increase is great news for producers all over the world as economic and climate pressures worsen. 


Free on Board (FOB): FOB is a shipping term that describes when the transfer of risk and payment occurs. FOB is calculated when the exporter delivers green coffee to the cargo ship at the port of origin.


FOB pricing is a common benchmark for transparent pricing, as it is typically the easiest price to collect and approximates how much money stays in the country of origin. Though common, FOB does not provide the most accurate representation of a farmer’s financial compensation, unless a farmer engages in the uncommon practice of self exporting. FOB pricing is typically what the exporter is paid, which includes farmers’ payments (also known as “farm gate”), milling, in-country transportation, customs, fees, overhead, packaging, export margins, export taxes, etc.


In June 2023, we officially rolled out our new internal staff training program. The goal of the program is to onboard and calibrate new and current retail staff, regardless of tenure. Highlights of the program include:

  • Introducing all retail staff to the team supporting them at Commonplace Coffee Headquarters, including production, roasting, marketing, service, wholesale, and operations.
  • Sharing Commonplace Coffee’s mission, vision and values with a focus on hospitality.
  • Focusing on standards of execution to raise the quality of service at all retail locations.

We are excited to share that at the end of 2023, all current and new retail staff (65) completed the training program.


Commonplace Coffee seeks to foster community by supporting local and national charities through the sale of collaborative donation coffees. Our goal is to always have a donation blend in our lineup.


The following are new sustainability initiatives/investments Commonplace Coffee made in 2023. They join other past initiatives including composting coffee ground and coffee by-products, straw-free to-go cups, reusable cup discount, no upcharge oat milk, Teapigs tea, and Biotrē 1 retail coffee bags.


In September 2023, Commonplace Coffee commissioned a new Loring coffee roaster. Its hot air recirculation system drastically reduces emissions, without the need for an external afterburner. Other Loring users have reported up to 80% fuel reduction compared to conventional drum roasters. This stainless steel hybrid coffee roaster was designed and manufactured in the USA.


In early 2023, Commonplace Coffee introduced fully compostable NoTree to-go cups by World Centric at all cafe locations.



Our composting program currently takes place only at Pittsburgh cafe locations in partnership with Zero Waste Wrangler. Indiana cafe locations do not participate in a formalized composting program, but they donate approximately 10 pounds of compost weekly to local community garden efforts.


Commonplace Coffee is pleased to offer benefits to our team. In 2023, we were able to further expand our benefits package to include:


  • PTO for all staff, regardless of hours worked.
  • Vision and dental insurance added to Commonplace Coffee’s group insurance plan.
  • Increased company contribution to group insurance plans by 33%;
  • 18% group insurance utilization rate.
  • Company sponsored 401(k) program.*
  • Parental Leave Policy.*
  • Wellness benefit through Ascend Climbing Gym corporate partnership.*
    *Introduced in 2024


  • Opened newest retail cafe, SouthSide Works.
  • Transitioned to new coffee roaster, Loring S35 Kestrel.
  • Celebrated 20th Anniversary.
  • Produced the short film documentary Craft & Care: The Story of Commonplace Coffee, which was accepted into Pittsburgh Shorts Film Festival.
  • Rolled out company-wide training program, a comprehensive training and onboarding program for retail staff.
  • Significant update to Retail Operations Manual. 


Graphs based on a self-reported staff survey (54% response rate).



  • Average tenure of all staff: 1.78 years
  • Average tenure of cafe staff: 1.42 years
  • Average tenure of HQ team: 3.2 years
  • Average tenure of bakery team: 3.1 years
  • Average tenure of leadership team: 6.1 years
  • Staff with tenure of 12 months or more: 43%
  • Staff with tenure of 3 years or more: 16%


Staff with 4 or more years of tenure:

  • Retail Operations Manager
  • Bakery Manager
  • Barista, Mexican War Streets
  • Director of Operations
  • Marketing Coordinator
  • Director of Marketing
  • Shop Manager, Squirrel Hill
  • Production Roaster, HQ
  • Shop Manager, Campus Edge
  • Shop Manager, IRMC


Over the past few years, what started as a coffee accountability report has expanded to include other important areas of our business, including charitable giving, sustainability, training, employee benefits, employee demographics, and more.


The goal of this report is to provide transparency and insight to our staff, partners, and guests. It also holds us accountable year-over-year to our goals and the mission of our organization – To foster and build community through coffee with Craft and Care.


Thank you for your trust and support as we continue to improve and work towards a better version of Commonplace Coffee.

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