Our History

The Roots of San Francisco Bay Coffee

A Letter from Jim Rogers

Hello, and welcome to our family! My parents, Jon and Barbara Rogers, founded San Francisco Bay Coffee in 1979. They basically used all of their savings intended for college for their four children to fund the purchase of a small, nearly bankrupt company on 3rd Street in San Francisco. At the time, they had two children already in college with the other two just about to go. We all had to find…. gasp… a job, to get through college.

My father, who had extensive experience in consumer goods with Vicks, Bird’s Eye and Revlon in New York, had been wooed to California by another company in 1976. Shortly thereafter, he realised that he no longer liked working for large companies. He wanted to do something on his own. My mother, ever faithful and supportive, was with him at every step – although it made her nervous! (She eventually joined him at work every day.) So, they cleaned out their savings accounts and took out a second mortgage on their house

When you buy our coffee, your support helps hundreds and thousands of people around the world, and you become part of our family. Besides being able to enjoy a terrific coffee at a terrific price.

Anyway, it was a tea business, also selling accessories and a small amount of coffee roasted by others. A few years later, a coffee roasting business came up for sale, and our family bought that. We learned how to roast properly from one of the leading roast masters in the area at the time. We were also one of the earliest adopters of the vacuum valve bag to keep fresh-roasted coffee fresh. The rest is history. 

Although of normal stature, my Dad has always been called “Big Jon” around the office. No one knows why. My Mom is just “Barb” or, in later years, Grandma. Mom and Dad retired in 2017, and their children are trying their best to continue their core principles:

  • Treat everyone like family.
  • Everyone should win.
  • No “me too” products – always be better.
  • Make the world a better place.
  • Make sure that everyone who touches our coffee, from the plants to the roasted beans to the steaming cup, benefits from the process.

We started roasting about 100,000 pounds per year. We are now roasting almost 40 million pounds annually! And all of it, the best coffee you have ever tasted.


When you buy our coffee, your support helps hundreds of thousands of people around the world. And you become part of our family. Besides being able to enjoy a terrific coffee at a terrific price.

On behalf of the Rogers family – growing the largest family in the world — thank you for your support.