About

It started in 1994 with one coffeehouse on Portland’s Congress Street. Today Coffee By Design operates four coffeehouses in Portland and one in Freeport and runs a thriving coffee roastery, which sells to nearly 500 wholesale and mail order customers around the globe.

Mary Allen Lindermann and Alan Spear

History

When Coffee By Design owners Mary Allen Lindemann and Alan Spear opened their first coffeehouse in 1994, they wanted to share their passion for coffee and the creative arts with the Portland, Maine community.

Alan, a Portland native, and Mary Allen, who had spent her summers in Maine for over twenty years, built their first store on Congress Street in the middle of what was known then as the “porn district.” Although the vacancy rate in downtown Portland was 40%, they hoped that CBD would serve as a gathering place for the community – and help to revive the neighborhood. More than 20 years later, CBD’s first coffeehouse is often credited with sparking the downtown revitalization that has led to the thriving Arts District we enjoy today.

Since then, three more coffeehouses opened in Portland on India Street, Washington Avenue, and Diamond Street and one in Freeport at the L.L.Bean Flagship store. One Diamond Street is also home to our roastery, where we handcraft the best in specialty coffees. CBD has grown steadily, sustainably, and responsibly over the years. And so has its commitment to the arts and the community, both here in Maine and around the globe.

 

B Corp

Coffee By Design is proud to be one of 10 Certified B Corporations in Maine, along with more than 2,100 “B Corps” around the world. Unlike traditional corporations, B Corps are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on all their stakeholders, including workers, suppliers, community, consumers, and the environment. CBD became certified after B Lab, a nonprofit dedicated to the process of B Corp certification, audited our best practices, including our buying relationships, hiring practices, employee training, retail stores, roastery, shipping, packaging, and community support.

B Corp Certification helps CBD further our goal of redefining success in business by meeting higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.

Key Staff Bios

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Mary Allen Lindemann, Co-Founder and Community Builder

Mary Allen Lindemann’s B.A. in poetry from Brown University led her first to a career in advertising and marketing in New York, Boston, and Seattle. It was in Seattle where her life changed after she tried a Caffe Latte for the first time in the late 1980s. Mary Allen’s newfound passion for coffee and a love of New England brought her and her partner Alan Spear to Portland, Maine, where they founded Coffee By Design in 1994.

With Mary Allen’s guidance, the company stays true to its Maine roots and maintains its commitment to giving back to the local and international communities to which Coffee By Design is intimately connected. Part of her job is to make sure the company continues to be a “good corporate citizen” while making social change happen in a unique and meaningful way.

Mary Allen is a member of Specialty Coffee Association of America and the International Women’s Coffee Alliance. In Maine, she is a founding member of Women Standing Together, Portland Buy Local, and the First Friday Art Walk. She currently serves on the advisory board of Portland Buy Local and is a past board member of the Downtown Corporation Board. She is past president of Maine Businesses for Social Responsibility and of Portland Buy Local. She has contributed to Specialty Coffee Chronicle and Hospitality News and has been a featured speaker at the Salvation Army Tools for Life Program, Envision Maine Summit, and the Women’s Leadership Conference at Brown University.

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Alan Spear, Co-Founder and President

With a B.S. in landscape architecture from Cornell University, Alan spent ten years working at several landscape architecture, land planning, and engineering firms. He especially enjoyed projects focused on wetland creation, planned community development, re-forestation and stream restoration—skills and perspectives he still uses today to guide Coffee By Design’s roastery while considering its environmental impact.

Alan discovered coffee while living in Seattle during the early days of specialty coffee. His CBD partner, Mary Allen, was also influenced by the city’s burgeoning coffee culture, and together they educated themselves in the art and science of specialty coffee. He quickly learned that the quality of the coffee is only as good as the coffee bean and the operator of the roasting equipment.

Alan’s passion for great coffee, and his love of people and business, led him to open Coffee By Design with Mary Allen in 1994.

At CBD, Alan focuses on the company’s future, searching for the next great coffee, developing relationships with wholesale accounts, and guiding the roastery team. He works with importers, farmers, and coffee professionals at origin, and takes several trips a year to sources of origin.

Alan serves on the Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) advisory board and is a corporator with the Androscoggin Bank.

He enjoys watching his young daughter’s interest in Coffee By Design grow, as well as working with his nephew, an apprentice in the roastery.

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Dylan Hardman, Head Roaster

Dylan’s love affair with coffee started at a young age when he would finish the last few drops at the bottom of his mom’s cup. It was loaded with milk and Sweet ‘n Low, but the natural potency of the brew was enough to spark a lifelong enjoyment of the magical bean.

Dylan has been in the coffee industry for 20 years, working through every level in the coffee industry, as a barista, manager, roaster and now, head roaster at Coffee By Design. He joined CBD after moving to Portland from Croton-on-Hudson, where he was with Black Cow Coffee. Dylan and the CBD team share the same enthusiasm and passion for great product, community involvement, and excellent customer experience.

A member of the Roasters Guild, the science of roasting intrigues him. In the roastery, he does his best to bring the coffee to its full potential. Dylan continues to be enamored with the sensory element of coffee, especially its aroma and flavor. He now takes his coffee black and occasionally enjoys a ristretto macchiato.

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Virginia (Ginny) Anderson, Customer Service Maven

Ginny started her career at CBD as a part-time barista, and over the past 16 years, Ginny’s responsibilities within the company have grown significantly. Ginny has served as a retail manager, production staff member, shipping specialist, and has been known to step in to help the production team when needed. She is currently the “customer service maven,” fielding all wholesale requests. In addition to her commitment to Coffee By Design, Ginny still makes sure to take time to work on whimsical illustrations. She is a Maine native and currently lives in Portland.

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Kevin Gaspardi, General Manager

Kevin Gaspardi has been with Coffee By Design since 2011. Kevin joined the company after working at Peet’s Coffee And Tea, where he was district manager for the Boston and Chicago regions. Previously he was with Starbucks and Burger King Corporation. At CBD he supports the company’s five retail stores and is responsible for all retail hiring and purchasing.

Kevin’s interest in coffee began in 2006. He was particularly drawn to the coffee industry’s customers because of their curiosity about flavors and origins. He enjoys spending time teaching and talking to customers and loves the fact that coffee conversations can be enjoyed with coffee fans from 15-75.

Kevin is a regular attendee of the Specialty Coffee Association of America conference and is a member of the Roasters Guild and the Barista Guild. His hobbies include running and biking. In his pre-Maine life, Kevin carried the Olympic Torch in the summer of 1996 in Portland, Oregon at 2:30 a.m. with three Olympians, and he once went scuba diving with Jacques Cousteau’s son.

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Nathan Hann, Director of Training

Nathan joined the Coffee By Design team in 2016, shortly after moving to Maine. His experience with (and love for) coffee began at Starbucks, where he worked for two years. He then joined Blue State Coffee, where as coffee director he was responsible for buying and overseeing roasting, as well as training and quality control.

As CBD’s Director of Training, Nathan is responsible for retail store training and quality control at the store level. He also assists the head roaster with tech issues and manages IT concerns for the company.

Nathan cites the inclusiveness and camaraderie of fellow coffee industry members as one of the most appealing aspects of working in coffee. He is a member of Barista Guild, Roasters Guild, and he passed the traveling barista exam at Coffee Fest. Nathan enjoys the challenge of manual brews best: “pour overs, French press, aeropress, the whole gamut.” He has a BA in film studies from Hofstra University.

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Trisha L. Thorpe, Controller and Financial Manager

Trisha is Coffee By Design’s joint controller and financial manager, responsible for financial reporting, licensing, taxes, and registration, as well as the company’s human resources needs including compliance and employee benefit plans.

Trisha was excited to join Coffee By Design’s team in early 2017 in part so she could drink coffee all day long.

Growing up in Michigan, coffee was a big part of her father’s daily routine; he would have his morning cup before he went to work and fill up his green Stanley thermos so he could enjoy hot coffee throughout the day. As a child, coffee became a part of Trisha’s routine too and she’d drink one cup every day. Back then it was instant, but once she discovered good coffee she never looked back.

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Alex Marquis, Production Supervisor

Alex has spent the past five years working in CBD’s roastery, learning every aspect of the craft of roasting. He works at CBD because he admires the company’s continued commitment to supporting the community, and he shares the company’s values and philosophy. Alex likes the versatility of the work in the roastery and the ability to do multiple things on any given day.

A Maine native from the Lewiston-Auburn area, Alex is an avid hiker, and he likes dogs, especially his own. Other interests include graphic design and filmmaking. He is partial to African coffees because of their distinctly fruity and flowery notes.

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Travis Spear, Production Roaster

A Maine native, and nephew of CBD co-owner Alan Spear, Travis began working at Coffee By Design in 2007. He has held a variety of positions at the company, including as a barista at the Freeport coffeehouse and then at the India Street location.

In 2011, Travis joined the roastery full time, where he has developed his coffee cupping skills, fine-tuned his palate, and jumped into the technical side of the roastery, learning the ins and outs of repairing brewers, espresso machines, and other coffee equipment. Travis was a winner of the CBD blending competition in 2013 and in 2014.

At work, Travis is known for his jovial attitude and singing in the roastery. Outside of work, he enjoys playing the guitar, bass, drums, and singing.

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Chelsey Powers
Manager, Diamond Street

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Elaine Garnett
Manager, Diamond Street

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Jamie Roper
Manager, Congress Street

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Jon Magill
Manager, L.L. Bean Freeport

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Krista Lucht
Manager, India Street

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Marnie Wilkow
Manager, Washington Avenue

Jobs

At Coffee By Design our employees are the key to the company’s continued growth and success. As part of the CBD team, you will work in an environment that lets you be yourself so you can do your best work.

Qualified candidates can, and do, provide exceptional customer service while consistently serving a high-quality product. You must be able to work independently and in a team. Customer service experience is desired. Passion for specialty coffee a must!

What does it take to work for CBD?
We look for people who are highly motivated and enjoy a fast-paced work environment. Those with an upbeat, outgoing personality will blossom in this environment. (And a good sense of humor never hurts.) All of our employees are encouraged to embrace a creative, “outside-of-the-box” approach to retail.

What do you get for working for CBD?
We are proud to offer our employees a comprehensive benefits package. Here are just a few of the benefits we offer:

  • Health insurance
  • Vacation pay
  • Discounts
  • Retirement fund

Join the Team

We Are Currently Hiring For:

  • Barista
  • Shift Leader
  • Specialty Coffee Production Team Player

If you’re an ambitious individual with an innovative spirit who loves coffee and people, we would love to meet you! Please contact us at info@coffeebydesign.com if you are interested in a career at one of our retail stores or our micro roastery in Portland, Maine

Awards & Recognitions

Coffee By Design’s work in the community has not gone unnoticed by other members of the community. We are grateful for the recognition, because it reminds us to stay true to our values, as a company and as individuals.

  • Humanitarian Award

    Spurwink
    2017

  • 50 Mainers Leading By Example

    Maine Magazine
    2017

  • Editor’s Choice

    Yankee Magazine
    2017

  • Community Business Leader

    Crossroads
    2017

  • Best Coffee Shop

    Portland Phoenix
    1999 – 2017

  • Manufacturing Excellence Award

    Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership
    2016

  • Editors’ Choice – Best Coffee Roaster

    Down East Magazine
    2016

  • Best Entrepreneur

    Portland Phoenix
    2016

  • Business Community Partner Award

    Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project (ILAP)
    February 2016

  • Member of the Year

    Freeport USA
    2016

  • Buy Local Champion Award

    Portland Buy Local
    2016 (Mary Allen Lindemann)

  • Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award

    Maine Psychological Association
    2015

  • Legislative Sentiment for Public Service

    State of Maine
    2015 (Mary Allen Lindemann)

  • Women Making a Difference Award

    Maine Centers for Women – Work and Community’s
    2015 (Mary Allen Lindemann)

  • Small Business Persons of the Year – Maine

    Small Business Administration
    2014

  • Leadership & Hospitality Award

    Greater Portland Convention & Visitors Bureau
    2014

  • Red Buoy Award

    The Telling Room
    March 2014

  • The Johnson & Korda Innovation Award

    Shalom House
    2013

  • Community Hero

    Portland Buy Local
    2009, 2010, 2013

  • Global Hero

    Portland Buy Local
    2011

  • Tribute to Women in Industry Award

    Maine Women’s Fund
    2008, 2009 (Mary Allen Lindemann)

  • Essential Founders Award

    Portland Buy Local
    2008 (Mary Allen Lindemann)

  • Eagle Feather Small Business Winner

    Maine Businesses for Social Responsibility
    2005

  • Business Leaders of the Year

    Mainebiz
    2005

  • Governor’s Award for Business Excellence

    State of Maine
    2003

  • Small Business of the Year

    Institute for Family-Owned Business
    2002

  • Advocacy Award

    Disability Rights Center
    2002

  • Downtown Portland Small Business of the Year

    City of Portland
    2002