Rising Star Roaster Marshall Hance of Mountain Air Roasters - Biography

Asheville, NC

November 2013

Try to read the patent Marshall Hance wrote and proved (for “a resin distribution system and method for use in resin transfer molding”), and you might just understand why you can trust this guy to get you an incredible cup of coffee. Hance is technical, exacting to the finest detail, whether he’s talking about a “3-D orthogonal fiber structure having capillary channels” or how to extract the optimum flavor profile and fruit notes from an East African coffee bean.

A Texas native and son of a builder, Hance grew up with a confidence that he could make pretty much anything. And he put that faculty to its first serious use at North Carolina State University, where he earned a degree in textile materials science and then his first post-grad job with 3TEX, a spin-off of the NCSU College of Textiles. Inevitably, Hance knew his calling lay beyond the lab. So the avid mountain biker, focused his preoccupation with quality (and, yes, a bit of cool) on the founding of Endless Bike Co., where you can buy “Kick Ass Cogs” or a branded leather beer coozie.

Biking may have been his first real love, but Hance has long had a passion for coffee and made a habit of seeking out the best coffee shops when traveling. Combining his tech skills, coffee thirst, and a proven entrepreneurial streak, Hance built his first roaster out of a hot-air gun, a vacuum cleaner motor, and a deep-seated desire to build a better cup of coffee—for one and all. And with the founding of Mountain Air Roasters in Asheville, North Carolina, he hasn’t stopped. In 2013, Hance earned a StarChefs Rising Star Roaster Award for his work at Mountain Air.