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The Beck Brothers Are Roasting Politicians & Coffee
by Cody Moore, photography by Kayla Broadway

Jonesboro natives David and Stephen Beck are providing quality coffee roasts and a touch of comedic relief with their newest venture, Roasted Politicians Coffee Company.

The Beck brothers spend most of their time working at their family’s shop, Full Sun Gifts, where they help bring new products into the store. The idea of having their own product in Full Sun dawned on them just last summer. David and Stephen knew that they wanted to bring coffee into the shop, and their mother, Teresa Beck, owner of Full Sun Gifts, backed their idea.

“As I researched and considered all of the possibilities, I realized that I could combine my love and hatred for American politics with my love for coffee, so I began working on different designs,” said Stephen. “David hopped on board quickly, and we essentially established a vision for the brand.”

With American politics dominating popular conversation over the past year, the brothers decided to take a risk and accept the challenge to create a product that would likely get the community talking and, most importantly, buying. Teresa coined the name Roasted Politicians, and the brothers decided to run with it. In just a short amount of time, Roasted Politicians coffee was being produced and sold.

“From the first conversation about it to the delivery of the first bags, it took right around six months, with which we are thrilled,” said David. “We wanted to get the product out as quickly as possible, as satirical content usually has a shelf-life. This has surprised us, though. The election of 2016 doesn’t seem to leave the current cultural conversation, which is good for us. It sells our coffee.”

The first roast, Covfefe, inspired by President Donald Trump’s infamous tweet, is a medium-dark roast blend that is a smooth, rich, aromatic, full-bodied and low-acidic blend. Liberal Tears is the second roast and is an underground light roast that incorporates fair distribution of dark chocolate, caramel, berries and citrus. Both roasts are blends of beans from South America and Indonesia and are currently packaged in Minnesota. The Beck brothers are hopeful that will soon change, as they would eventually like to package their coffee here in Jonesboro.

Currently, Covfefe and Liberal Tears are Roasted Politicians’ only coffee roasts, but the Becks don’t plan to stop there.

“We will have bags of ground beans within the next month, and we will have single-serve cups for Keurig machines in February, as well,” said Stephen. “Within the next six months, we hope to get out two or three more roasts.”

What was the drive behind starting Roasted Politicians?
Stephen: We both love coffee, and we both have a simultaneous love and hatred for politics. So, the combination seems rather perfect for us. Also, the current political climate is so contentious; it’s nice to have something that can bring a few laughs to something so divisive.

You describe your brand as an equal opportunity offender. Can you describe what this means and the relevance of the business’ political satire?
David: We say that we are an “equal opportunity offender” simply because we are. We have set out to poke fun at all trending political movements – not because we don’t respect certain movements and not to discredit any movement. We wanted a mission statement of sorts that painted a clear picture of our satirical nature and our political neutrality.

What is your role with Roasted Politicians?
Stephen: We do the same thing, essentially. A big part of the job right now is simply discussing ways to create exposure for our products. Much of our time is planning social media and blog posts, following our marketing strategy. Both of us also fulfill online orders.
David: There are a few unique things that each of us does for the company, though. Currently, Stephen is working on the actual design of the next bags, while I am brainstorming the names, copy, language, etc. of the next bags.

How has the public responded to your product?
Stephen: By and large, the public has been highly supportive of it, liking, sharing and commenting on social media posts. We’ve had a few trolls on Twitter, but honestly, we take that as a good thing. If satire doesn’t attract trolls, it’s probably not good satire.

Who was involved in creating your product designs?
David: Stephen sketched the first workings of the bags, but we used Almanac Designs of Manhattan to create the final designs. They took our concepts and formatted them into workable templates. They also helped with the wording and copy of the bags. They were (an) incredible help to us and are top-notch designers. Currently, they are helping us design single-serve cups.

Will you venture into other items besides coffee?
David: We have T-shirts, mugs and other merchandise designed and will be producing those within the next few months.

Which of the two roasts do you prefer, and is there a flavor you would like to see come into the brand?
Stephen: I prefer Covfefe. It’s bold and flavorful.
David: I like Liberal Tears. It’s light and has a sort of fruity flavor. I’d love to get an espresso roasts at some point; I think espresso lends itself to political satire.

Other than selling the satire, what makes the taste of your coffee unique?
Stephen: This is perhaps the most important part. Our coffee is fair trade and organic, and we think it tastes pretty good. The coffee is rich in flavor and isn’t processed like most store-bought coffee. The political satire may entice you, but hopefully, the flavor will sell you and keep you coming back.

Roasted Politicians coffee can be purchased at Full Sun Gifts, located at 606 Southwest Drive, or online at roastedpoliticians.com. Keep up with the company and receive new product announcements by finding Roasted Politicians Coffee Company on Facebook and on Instagram, @roastedpoliticians.