“My roots run deep in agriculture coming from several generations of farmers. So I guess it was my destiny to end up where I am today with a vineyard, garden, pigs and chickens and pantry full of canned goods.
I grew up on a farm in Iowa where our family raised livestock and grain crops. The youngest of three girls I was my Dad’s shadow helping with chores, tagging along to the local feed store or riding in the back of the pick-up truck to check on the cows. My Mom was his partner in all things and both taught me much about the importance of hard work, caring for that which feeds you, taking pride in a job well done and independence.
Anyone who grew up in the rural Midwest in the ’60s and ’70s knows about “walking the beans” the task of pulling weeds out between the endless rows of soybeans. You would start early in the morning when the air was cool and the plants were moist with dew. By quitting time the sun was beating down hard, your legs heavy from the muddy shoes and your hands were scratched and sore. But there was also satisfaction in seeing that 80-acre field clean of weeds knowing that we were going to get a better price per bushel at harvest. It’s that “walk the beans” ethos that I have carried with me throughout life.
I went on to get a Master’s of Science in Agriculture and worked for the Missouri Department of Agriculture. That was the beginning of many job opportunities that allowed me to see the world and experience food, wine and coffee from other cultures. After 30 years in tourism, wine, and economic development I made the decision in 2012 to strike out on my own hence the beginning of Pollard Per Se. Coffee roaster, wine grape grower, winery owner and weed puller extraordinaire.”
MEET OUR TEAM.
Coffee roaster, vineyard owner, gardener and farmer, Robin Pollard has focused her energy on activities that reflect her passions. She established Pollard Per Se in 2012 and began a commercial coffee roasting business under the brand Pollard Coffee. A self-taught roaster, she immersed herself into understanding the varietal and regional differences of the coffee beans in order to bring out the very best characteristics that each had to offer.
Robin also owns a vineyard in the Upper Yakima Valley, raises Berkshire pigs, chickens and ducks and loves growing vegetables and flowers.
Daniel Swenson is the lead coffee roaster for Pollard Coffee. Daniel is fueled by his passion to bring awareness and due credit to the hard working farmers that make quality, specialty coffee possible. He believes that the end result is a cumulative effort by everyone involved in the supply chain. From the time the shrub is planted to the moment you pour a cup of coffee, it is our responsibility to take care of the bean. Daniel enjoys the connection coffee roasting brings to people around the world.
Daniel is the son of owner and founder Robin Pollard. He has a background as a technician with a telecommunications company, among various other jobs, but has always had an interest in coffee. Daniel, along with wife Shaylea, and daughter Isla, had the opportunity to relocate to Vashon Island and learn how to roast. As an apprentice to Robin, Daniel quickly found his calling with roasting coffee. Through her guidance and many others, the start of a life-long study began.
Daniel looks forward to honing his craft and continuing to provide our customers with a supreme product and experience. He is always looking for ways to collaborate with others in and out of the industry and make coffee accessible to anyone who is interested.
Shaylea Swenson began her coffee career as a barista when she was in high school. She enjoyed the connection with people as much as she loved coffee. Little did she know that one day she would end up at a family-run roastery. While a barista, Shaylea pursued an education in dental assisting. Shaylea’s passion was in building relationships with patients and learning all facets of a small business. She brings that same passion and skillset to Pollard Coffee.
Shaylea joined Pollard Coffee with her husband Daniel and found herself as the jack of all trades within the company. She is the primary sales rep and account manager but you can also find her roasting and packaging coffee.