About Us

Discovering The East Pole

After graduating with an International Business degree in 2012, East Pole co-founder Jared Karr worked for an NGO in Indonesia that focused on promoting entrepreneurial commerce amongst rural citizens.

While he was there –– a place he often referred to as “The East Pole” –– Jared interacted with the coffee industry for the first time, seeing the origin of the beverage he drank so often while studying and traveling.

In 2015, he and two friends decided to start roasting their own coffee, naming their company for the place where Jared first glimpsed the intricacies of coffee origins. The team developed its brand, product, and wholesale channel from a detached garage in Atlanta’s Grant Park neighborhood, roasting and selling coffee to coffee shops and restaurants around the city.

East Pole opened its flagship roastery and coffee bar in 2017 in Armour Yards. In 2022, the company opened its second coffee bar in the Poncey-Highland neighborhood.

Cultivating Relationships

Our business depends on relationships –– those with the coffee producers we work with at origin; the restaurant and cafe managers who serve our product to their customers; the patrons of our coffee bar who trust our baristas to expertly prepare their morning cappuccino; and the office managers who stock the break room shelves with coffee meant to keep their co-workers happy and engaged.

From Honduras to Colombia to Ethiopia –– we aim to build long-lasting connections with the producers whose coffee we roast. We do this through frequent touchpoints, both physically and virtually. But also through diligent stewardship of their handiwork, carefully storing, roasting, and brewing the product to best showcase the mastery exercised at its terroir.

Around town, we go out of our way to train the baristas, servers, and kitchen staff of our wholesale customers to ensure they’re best equipped to delight their guests with excellent coffee, which we deliver quickly — especially when our partners are in a pinch.

And in our coffee bars, we’re out to set Guinness World Records for hospitality. Specialty coffee is exotic and complex –– often a different species (literally) than what many may expect when it comes to their usual morning coffee. Because of all of these nuances, specialty coffee can be seen as intimidating, with pretentious baristas amplifying complexity, rather than providing ease for the patron. That’s not how we roll. We want to disarm (but not dumb-down) specialty coffee for the people who visit our coffee bars. We want them to take a seat, so we can drop their drink off at their table –– with a glass of water that we’ll refill as long as they’re hanging out. We want to help them find a bag of coffee that they’ll enjoy brewing and drinking at home, fairly representing the work of the producers who grew it.

All of these relationships matter deeply to us.

From Atlanta

We started our business because we noticed something: Atlanta was growing up in specialty coffee. New shops were –– and still are –– opening all over the city, and Atlantans were –– and still are –– beginning to love excellent coffee.

Though we’re from Atlanta, we became “coffee people” elsewhere –– in Indonesia, on the west coast, and experiencing specialty coffee in cities around the world.

In 2014, while working in other coffee roles, our founder began discussing the Atlanta coffee trend and how they wanted to be a part of it. A year later, we bought a small, five-pound U.S. Roaster Corps. roaster from a hobbyist in Orlando and a couple of 152-pound bags of coffee. In our Grant Park garage roastery, we used a ping pong table as a catch-all and battled through some really cold, late nights and some really humid, hot days, slowly building our customer base.

Over the last several years, as we’ve grown, we’ve loved watching our city grow in specialty coffee and are so proud to be a small part of it. There are new roasters and cafés everywhere, more great coffee being served at restaurants and office spaces around town, and just a ton of hometown love everywhere –– as always. We are from a city of loyalists and we’re ready, as ever, to serve those folks.