Business model

Thomas Hammer and the Coffee Forward business model – The Daily Evergreen

Thomas Hammers tries to move away from stereotypical cafe vibes


Business at Thomas Hammer on Main Street in Pullman wraps up after a busy day on September 9th.

Thomas Hammer Coffee Roasters is a local Main Street cafe based in Spokane, with locations around eastern Washington and Idaho.

Store manager Kelly Ritchie said Thomas Hammer’s goal was to be its own brand, rather than a competitor to an international company such as Starbucks.

A McDonald’s in New York would be much the same as one in Pullman, but a Thomas Hammer cafe in Idaho would be completely different from Pullman’s, Ritchie said. This is because of the individuality that the company offers in its various branches, apart from the coffee culture.

“Coffee Forward means that the head office and the people who created Thomas Hammer care a lot about where they get their beans, what kind of beans we use, and have the knowledge to explain the differences,” said said Thomas Hammer’s Barista Charismah Worden.

She added that while a place like Starbucks could have four pumps of sugar for an average coffee, Thomas Hammer would only have about a pump and a half to two pumps to not overpower the coffee itself.

The coffee itself is at the heart of the business, Ritchie said. One of his favorite things about coffee is its ability to bring people together in a way that few things in the world currently do.

“Coffee is such a unique medium for bringing all types of people together,” she said. “Some people who have different political beliefs are not going to, in most places, interact with each other, but in a cafe they are together in the same space.”

The store is not just coffee, although that is the goal. In fact, Worden recommends a lavender matcha with oat milk.

Besides the drinks, there is also the appeal of a community cafe. Rather than the standardized structure that large corporations might have, Thomas Hammer has more individuality and the ability to change based on location and community involvement, Ritchie said.

“We’re very involved locally,” Worden said. “Like right now with football season, if you wear your Coug gear on football days, you get a dollar off.”

Worden said the work culture at Thomas Hammer is excellent and the managers and store go above and beyond; if you love your job, you will always do better.

Mint syrup and caramel can taste great, but if you love the taste of coffee itself, then Thomas Hammer is the coffee for you.