It started in 1994 with one coffeehouse on Portland’s Congress Street. Today Coffee By Design operates three coffeehouses in Portland and one in Freeport and runs a thriving coffee roastery in Portland, which sells to nearly 600 wholesale and mail order customers around the globe.
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.
Today, the company also has coffeehouses in Portland on India Street 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.
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.