Breck Coffee Roasters raises $ 10,000 for the family of firefighter Daniel ‘Skip’ Bergbauer

Breck Coffee Roasters regularly creates specialty coffee blends to sell for philanthropic purposes through their More Than Coffee program. The company recently developed three blends in honor of Daniel “Skip” Bergbauer and raised $ 10,000 for the Bergbauer family.
Andrii Iwashko / Courtesy photo

Although Daniel “Skip” Bergbauer of the Red, White & Blue Fire Protection District passed away during the summer, his legacy lives on in one of his passions: coffee. Breck Coffee Roasters sold three blends in honor of Bergbauer and raised money for his family through the proceeds.

The grains used in the roast come from Bergbauer himself. He left around 3,000 pounds of unroasted green beans in his garage after his death. An aerospace engineer before becoming a firefighter, Bergbauer was known to apply his scientific mind and make his own special mixes for local fire stations.

“He started with his little popper air roaster in the bay of the fire station,” said firefighter Dan Felt. “We got up to make a call at 2 or 3 in the morning, and he was out there like a mad scientist roasting beans in the middle of the night because he’s just trying to figure it out.”

Bergbauer eventually owned several roasters for his hobby. He roasted the beans not only for the stations, but also for his colleagues individually.

“I placed an order for the month and he was roasting me 5 pounds for my house,” Felt said, adding that he believed Bergbauer intended to deliver coffee to the Front Range stations. “It grew and evolved for him. “

Felt approached Breck Coffee Roasters in the hopes that they would be able to use the supply. The company initially roasted the beans free of charge for personal use at the station. Then, to help make a dent before the beans were fresher, Breck Coffee Roasters bought some at market prices to use for existing coffee blends.

Andrii Iwashko, COO and chief roaster of Breck Coffee Roasters, estimated that Bergbauer came from at least 20 farms in its extensive inventory.

“He was a great connoisseur of coffee,” said Iwashko.

Breck Coffee Roasters roasted approximately 2,500 pounds of beans and raised $ 10,000 for the Bergbauer family by selling 500 12-ounce bags of Skip’s Blend. The money will mainly go to university funds for Bergbauer’s daughters, Nika and Sophia.

Three versions – Station 4, Station 6 and Station 7 – have been created to suit a variety of tastes. Station 4 was the dark mixture, station 6 was light-medium, and station 7 was medium dark.

“The medium roast will be your classic and more acidic coffee, but it has some of the more fruity notes,” Iwashko said. “Medium-dark will be your classic notes of chocolate, peanut butter and graham crackers. Black roast is something you want to cut with milk. It’s going to be a bit harsher where it may seem bitter on some people’s palate, but some people really enjoy this coffee flavor profile.

The blends sold for $ 20 each, with about $ 15 per bag donated and the remainder of the funds coming from the purchase of the grain at market price.

Fundraising was the fourth installment of Breck Coffee Roaster’s More Than Coffee program. Iwashko previously had a business called More Than Clothing, where the proceeds from shirt sales were used for a specific, tangible purpose instead of donating a percentage to a large charity. He then brought the concept with him when he joined Breck Coffee Roasters.

“It seemed like a no-brainer to try it with retail coffee bags,” Iwashko said. He said that while consumerism cannot be stopped, it can at least be made more beneficial for people and the planet.

Iwashko sees it as a way to help the Summit County community and the coffee plantation communities. The company tries to fundraise every few months, alternating local and remote beneficiaries.

The first, “Copper Condor”, launched in 2020. Breck Coffee Roasters worked with its direct business partner in Colombia to help provide the raw materials needed to build an additional classroom at the local school in the village of Fresna. This meant that families did not need to send their children away for schooling beyond the fifth grade.

The second project in partnership with Homes For Our Troops and was developed by Colorado veteran Joel Booth. Only 50 bags were roasted, and $ 5 per bag was allocated to the cost of building Booth’s custom house. The third project raised funds to buy soccer jerseys for the children of Guatemala.

For Skip’s Blends, Iwashko enjoyed support from across the state and beyond. He said it was the most successful of all More Than Coffee projects, with previous fundraisers only bringing in around $ 500 to $ 1,000.

“He never hit the five-figure mark so it was an amazing experience to be able to raise that kind of money for a part of our community,” said Iwashko.

Breck Coffee Roaster’s efforts are just the beginning. Felt estimates that at least an additional $ 10,000 was raised for children’s college funds through the sale of Bergbauer’s equipment, with firefighters purchasing beans for personal use and other donations.

Some bags for sale may still be strewn about, but Iwashko said the project came to an end as Breck Coffee Roasters focused on their fifth More Than Coffee entry. Iwashko said a specific beneficiary has not yet been determined, but the new fundraising is expected to begin by the end of January.

Red, white and blue fire protection district battalion commander Daniel “Skip” Bergbauer is pictured.
Red, white and blue light district fire protection / Courtesy photo

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