Walking into Downtown Brooklyn’s Devoción is like stepping into a coffee lover’s dream. Your senses are engaged by the smell of brewing coffee, greenery everywhere, creating a lush, tropical feel.
There is a reason why the smell of the coffee hits differently when you open their doors. As farm-to-table coffee roasters, Devoción’s ability to offer the freshest beans with the boldest flavor, just ten days after leaving its origin in Colombia, is what sets them apart.
Steven Sutton, CEO and Founder of Devoción, spoke with us about his passion for coffee and the importance of being part of the Downtown Brooklyn community. Read our conversation below, and check out our feature video here.
DBP: What inspired you to start this business?
Steven Sutton (SS): I’m Colombian and when I was growing up there was a lot of political turmoil. I had to leave Colombia and I wanted to do something for the people there. I felt this need to help and I was very interested in coffee. I saw gaps in the coffee industry in terms of quality and thought it would be great to fill those gaps and help my own people. And that’s how Devoción started in 2006. Today Devoción is a company that is based in Brooklyn but we still have Devoción in Colombia where we get coffee from over two thousand farmers. What we do differently is we actually go directly to the farmer, we buy their coffee and we transport it to the U.S., in this case to Brooklyn, really really fast — we FedEx overnight. Then, we roast it quickly so you’re actually able to taste how coffee tastes at farm level. We’re very unique in that sense because nobody else does this.
DBP: Why Downtown Brooklyn?
SS: Coffee shops are centers of communities. We always want to be an experience for the community. Downtown Brooklyn and everything that’s happening around it is awesome. We love the people that are coming in, we love the people that are already here.
DBP: Why do you think customers keep coming back?
SS: I think it’s a combination. The place is comfortable, it’s beautiful — like you’re in a little jungle. Also, the warmth of the place — everything that we do here we want it to be very warm and welcoming. And the coffee of course. Once you try the coffee and you see the difference of what it should taste like, you want to come back. The coffee is amazing and the atmosphere is amazing.