Women in Coffee: Red Rooster Coffee

Women in Coffee: Red Rooster Coffee

About Red Rooster Coffee

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Red Rooster Coffee is a small family-run business guided by four key principles: taking care of its employees, farmers, the environment, and the community. Committed to sustainability and quality, they source exceptional coffees from around the world, paying premiums to producers and roasting the beans to exacting standards. Additionally, they limit waste and package their coffee in biodegradable bags. Today, we’re chatting with Rose McCutchan, co-founder of Red Rooster Coffee, to learn more about their story.

Q&A with Rose McCutchan

What made you want to pursue a career in coffee? Did you have any background or education in coffee?

[Rose] The opportunity seemed to fall into my lap. I’d put myself through school working in restaurants in NYC and found that rush interesting, stressful, and satisfying. My mother decided to open a bookshop in my hometown and wanted to offer coffee. I had no clue what to do with my fresh theatre degree, so I moved back home and tried my luck at doing what I had already been doing for years. We opened a coffee house above her bookstore to mediocre success. Stubbornness and not having anything else quite so interesting on the horizon, I just kept opening the door every day and making improvements as money allowed. The true coffee education occurred when my now husband and co-owner of Red Rooster joined me in the coffee world. He began roasting and learning and studying, and I continued to run the coffee house, excited for the coffee quality improvements we were making. 

What was your experience as a woman getting into the coffee industry?

[Rose] Thanks to my parents and being one of five sisters, I don’t think I ever thought anything was or could be different for me because I am a woman. I know I’m lucky to have that experience, and of course, as I’ve grown older and had more experience, I’ve witnessed a lot. My main experience as a woman is really acting as a champion and supporter of other women in our company. 

How do you source your coffee? What do you look for? 

[Rose] We have a great team who take that on, both in-house and abroad.  We work with excellent importers and have good relationships with many of the producers we source our coffee.  I am constantly grateful for the work these folks put in.

What are you sipping?

[Rose] I drink espresso almost exclusively except on Sunday mornings at home with the family, so I look for coffees that are well-balanced and rich with lots of chocolate and red berries. I really think a perfect 8oz or 12oz latte is the backbone of the specialty industry.

Fun fact?

Red Rooster is the only coffee company in the country with onsite childcare!

Coffee roasters like Red Rooster are paving the way for a more promising future for coffee and for women in the industry. Through their commitment to their community and staff, it’s clear that their efforts are paying off. Red Rooster continues to impress us each year with their amazing coffee offerings and the accumulation of awards and recognition within this competitive industry.

🏆 3 time Good Food Awards Winner

🏆 1st place, America’s Best Cold Brew, Coffee Fest Baltimore

🏆 Annual Top 30 Coffees on Coffee Review, 2015-2018, 2020-21

🏆 50+ coffees scoring 90+ on Coffee Review

🏆 1st Place Brewers Cup, TN US Coffee Champs Qualifiers, 2019

🏆 Golden Bean Silver & Bronze Medals 2016, 2017, 2019

🏆 Ninth place US Brewer’s Cup Championship, Seattle

🏆 1st Place, America’s Best Espresso, Coffee Fest NYC

🏆 Mistobox Golden Mug, Best Organic Coffee 2021