Our story

In 1993 Joe and I left Seattle, Washington with our life-long friend Doug Keller to chase a collective dream of building a coffee company. Starting with an espresso cart purchased with our combined life savings, we packed all of our worldly possessions into a U-Haul truck and set out. Destination: Charlottesville, Virginia, baby! On July 7, 2007, after an extended return to Seattle to learn the craft of roasting, the first batch of TBC was made in Nelson County, Virginia. Now 29 years since our very first cart location in an alley on “The Corner,” Higher Grounds and Trager Brothers Coffee are still going strong, proudly serving only high-quality, organic coffee. Trager Brothers Coffee is a CCOF certified organic roastery. You can find our fine coffees in select stores and markets throughout the mid-Atlantic region. 

We recognize it takes a team of passionate and dedicated people to bring our mission of Quality, Community, and Sustainability to market. That’s why we are fully committed to supporting environmental sustainability and fair wages for farmers and their families. This has led us on a lifelong pursuit of building relationships with like-minded people in the specialty coffee industry, as well as with farms and collectives across the world. It is who we are; it is what we do.

We believe you will notice the difference in the cup.

~William Trager


- Will, Doug, & Joe circa 1993