Onaway resident Mike Vehar didn’t expect to
open a coffee shop in the Kingsbury Building
at Van Aken Boulevard and Lee Road when he signed up for an office at The Dealership in 2017.
He was focused on building his new company, 3-19 Coffee, which he co-founded that same year
with two partners.
3-19 buys high-quality coffee beans from small-scale farmers, mostly in Central and South
America, and roasts them in San Francisco. It sells its coffee online at 319coffee.com and at
But the company’s mission goes well beyond a great cup of coffee. It has a social mission, too.
“We want to ensure that our farmers have the ability to earn a better living and stay on
their farms in a sustainable way,” says Vehar, who had just returned from a trip to Guatemala
and Honduras, where 3-19 has partnered with Catracha Coffee, a cooperative of about 80
small growers in Santa Elena, La Paz. The company also buys from small growers in Colombia
and Brazil, as well as the
Kayon Mountain Coffee Farm
in Ethiopia. Every partner is
carefully sourced before being
added to the company’s menu.
Each cup of 3-19’s coffee
tells a story. For instance,
purchase a bag of mediumroast
Atanacio Nolasco and
you’ll get coffee grown by
Atanacio Nolasco Gutierrez
on his 2.5 acre farm, El Tucan,
in Honduras. Or perhaps
you prefer a light roast? La
Bendición is grown by Carlos
Vásquez and his family on their
49-acre farm, La Bendición,
“We’re also committed to
putting a portion of our profits
toward social good, usually
toward art and community,”
says Vehar. The company’s tag
line: Coffee Made Creative.
3-19 has helped kick start a community arts program in Santa Elena, Honduras, where
Catracha is based. Here in Cleveland, 3-19 has forged a partnership with Graffiti HeArt to
create four “artist tins.” Five dollars from each tin sold goes toward art scholarships for local
students. Similarly, the company has partnered with several not-for-profits, including the
Cleveland-based Lilly’s Ray of Hope, and worked with artists to create
and sell tins to benefit those organizations.
While a Cleveland-area coffee shop was not part of 3-19’s
original plan, the idea percolated during the two years
Vehar and his partners – Cincinnati-based Chris Dollries
and San Francisco-based Mike Weaver – worked to
build the online business. A second shop is being
planned for Cincinnati.
52 SUMMER 2019 | WWW.SHAKER.LIFE