About Us

The story of the Pepper Peddler

The idea of the Pepper Peddler was originally conceived in 2004 by Alex Roth after he finished graduate school and asked himself, “What's next?” The original idea was to roast green chilies in the Southwestern style, but since it was Davis, instead of an electric motor why not use a stationary bike for all of the mechanical motion? When fabricating the roaster, a second compartment was added on as a lucky foresight for “some other product.” The green chili concept hit a wall when it came to the issues of how to package and distribute the product.

Eventually the idea of roasting coffee instead began to manifest itself. After a year of extensive reading, learning, practicing with home roasting, and going really deep into the coffee world, the roaster (the machine) was adapted to accommodate coffee, and the roaster (Alex) was ready to give it a go starting in 2006. With a lot of hard work, endurance, and healthy dose of a serendipity, the coffee was amazing.

The business model was to deliver by bicycle to homes and businesses, much like the milk man from the days of yore. The response from Davis was overwhelming to the point of Pepper Peddler Coffee being made the “unofficial, official coffee of Davis” by the mayor at that time. As of 2018 over 100,000 pounds of coffee had been roasted by bike, and most of it delivered by bike.

With the reality of the COVID pandemic in 2020, Pepper Peddler Coffee had to transition to shipping with a common carrier (currently USPS), as well as switching from the mason jar packaging to traditional coffee bags. Get a single shipment to your doorstep and see what the buzz is all about!