Homegrown Business: Shawn McDonald of Anonymous Cupper Coffee Co.

Calgary’s Anonymous Cupper Coffee Co. boasts an impressive legacy of over 30 years, dedicated to the art of sourcing, roasting, and distributing top-quality green coffee across North America. Beyond their expertise in crafting exceptional brews, the company is venturing into offering unique speciality items directly from their growers’ farms. Currently featuring organic vanilla bean pods, Anonymous Cupper Coffee Co. brings a touch of distinction to the market, connecting customers not only with premium coffee but also with the rich flavours sourced directly from the farms they cherish. We spoke to Shawn McDonald, the Owner of Anonymous Cupper Coffee Co., to discuss further his business’s commitment to quality and a longstanding passion for the coffee trade.

Anonymous Cupper Coffee

What is your business called and what does it do?

Anonymous Cupper Coffee Co. Over 30 years of sourcing green coffee and roasting and selling in North America. We are also interested in selling some speciality items sourced from our growers’ farms, for instance, we are currently selling organic vanilla bean pods.

What made you want to do this work?

The creative nature of the business and the amazing people in this industry.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

The primary aim was to address the cyclic nature of the coffee business by ensuring growers received a more substantial share of the profits.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

– Coffee enthusiasts who appreciate and prioritize high-quality, premium coffee and are interested in discovering new coffee experiences.

– Ethically and environmentally conscious consumers valuing sustainability, fair trade, and organic practices.

– Those who are interested in the origins of their products and care about the environmental and social impact of their purchases.

– Food enthusiasts who appreciate unique flavours, enjoy exploring different cuisines, and see coffee as part of a broader culinary experience.

– Coffee lovers across diverse demographics who understand the value of quality and want ethically sourced, exceptional coffee.

How does your business make money? How does it work?

The business generates revenue primarily through the process of roasting and selling its product across various applications. The revenue model revolves around offering high-quality coffee beans that stand out in the market due to their unique approach in three key areas: sustainability, fostering personal relationships, and delivering exceptional coffee.

Where in the city can we find your profession?

COFFEE: Congress Coffee, #1A 215 36 Ave NE. Bridgeland Market, 1104 1 Ave NE, Calgary

DIRECT PURCHASING: shawn@anonymouscupper.com (wholesale pricing and shipping available)

VANILLA BEANS: Sunny Side Market, Bridgeland Market, Soon: Congress Coffee.

More venues and a web shop coming soon!

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

What is high-elevation roasting? All our coffee is grown at high elevations, where the conditions are ideal for producing the best quality beans. Calgary’s elevation is close to where we grow our coffee around the world. The original roaster who imparted his wisdom to the AC subscribed to the concept of roasting at or close to the same elevation as where the beans are grown. This resulted in the development of AC’s theory of high-elevation roasting, which completes the coffee circle of growing and roasting at or near the same elevation of the growing side.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

The best part of what we do is undoubtedly the people. From collaborating with growers who provide the foundation for our products to engaging with the individuals who sell them, and finally, witnessing the satisfaction of our customers—it’s incredibly rewarding.

The worst part is navigating the ever-changing landscape of shipping and logistics within the business. The challenges and complexities that come with coordinating shipments and managing logistics can be quite demanding and often present unexpected hurdles that require quick adaptation and problem-solving.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

You know you’re in my line of work when your friends claim you’re just a caffeine pusher, distributing legal buzzes one cup at a time!

Where can we follow you?

Instagram | Facebook

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?

A local business that I admire is Chronicle Coffee Roasters. Their attention to detail in their sourcing and the emphasis on transparency in their operations make them stand out in their industry.


About Emilea Semancik 82 Articles
Emilea Semancik was born in North Vancouver. Emilea has always always wanted to work as a freelance writer and currently writes for the Vancouver Guardian. Taking influence from journalism culture surrounding the great and late Anthony Bourdain, she is a recipe author working towards publishing her own series of books. You can find her food blog on Instagram: