2018 Atlanta Rising Star Roaster Jared Karr of East Pole Coffee Co.

2018 Atlanta Rising Star Roaster Jared Karr of East Pole Coffee Co.
January 2018

East Pole Coffee Co.
255 Ottley Dr NE Ste. 105
Atlanta, GA 30324

Jared Karr wanted to join the FBI and he had a plan. The FBI needed field officers fluent in Indonesian so he studied the language at the University of Georgia while working on his degree in international affairs. Upon graduation in 2012, Karr moved to Indonesia to work for a nonprofit and further his connections with the culture. While riding around the countryside on a motorbike, Karr was struck by the number of families who grew, processed, and prepared coffee for big importers. His work at the nonprofit promoted other agricultural products, and charged Karr with developing a program to pay villagers higher prices for their coffee beans. His enthusiasm for law enforcement waned as he became consumed by a passion for coffee. 

Returning home to Atlanta, Karr worked at cafes around the city and reconnected with his high school friend Jules Tompkins, who shared a love of coffee. Karr, Tompkins, and Matt Chelsa, who they brought in as a partner, opened wholesale-focused East Pole Coffee Co. in 2015. As its head roaster and green buyer, Karr works with importers to source sustainably grown green coffee. In 2017, they opened their public roastery and coffee bar, from which Karr roasts 500 to 700 pounds of beans each week. As the business grows, Karr plans to pursue Q-grader certification and cement East Pole as Atlanta’s homegrown coffee company