Alabama Maker Revival Coffee has something special brewing in Selma

Ryan Bergeron's quest for a new career led him to start Revival Coffee Company in Selma. (Michael Tomberlin / Alabama NewsCenter)

Ryan Bergeron knew God was leading him to something new. He just never imagined it would be roasting coffee beans.

Bergeron said he found Jesus when he was 22 and felt led to do something beyond the construction job he held.

After having many doors slammed in his face as he searched, a friend of his was looking to revive downtown Selma and felt like a coffee roaster would be a good business. Bergeron was the first person he thought of to open that business.

But Bergeron wasn’t so sure when he was approached about it.

“I said I’ll pray about it,” he said. “I don’t know anything about it, though.”

After some prayer and contemplation, Bergeron wasn’t feeling led and he also was feeling discouraged.

“I started taking small steps towards it and saying, ‘Lord, either shut the doors or open the doors,’” he said.

Then doors started opening.

Bergeron found out he had a distant relative who was in the coffee roasting business and invited him to come learn more about it. That led to a one-on-one training session with one of the world’s top cuppers – a professional taster who usually only trains large sessions for lots of money.

“At the end of training, he said, ‘You know, Ryan, I don’t know what it was that compelled me to do this,’” Bergeron said. “I started laughing and said, ‘That’s Jesus.’”

As he was putting together his business plan and getting ready to commit to the business, Bergeron was up one sleepless night and realized he didn’t even have a name for the company.

“I said, ‘Lord, I haven’t been creative in 10 years. There hadn’t been a need for me to. I don’t know how to do it,’” Bergeron said. “Right then, it popped into my head. He said, ‘Revival Coffee, awakening a nation.’ I said, ‘Huh. Well, that makes sense with coffee and what coffee does and kind of the heart of revival and the heart of what we’re trying to do.’ So that’s where the name came from.”

Bergeron had a plan and a name, but he still had something to overcome: his own fears.

He said he spent years working in construction never afraid of some of the more dangerous aspects of that job. But this career change would require different talents.

“Picking up the phone and calling somebody and telling them, ‘Hey, I’ve got this wonderful product, do you want to try it?’ It’s amazing the kind of fear that I was faced with,” Bergeron said. “I was like, ‘Lord, I’ve never been afraid of anything as long as I can remember and this has paralyzed me. So, the hardest part of starting was overcoming fear.”

Bergeron now looks back on that as one of the reasons behind this career change.

“Fear is opposite of who God is because perfect love casts out fear. In overcoming that, I had to encounter the perfect love of Jesus,” Bergeron said. “To anybody who is hearing this, if the thing that is keeping you from pressing forward to your dream is fear, then just press through and overcome it because he has made us to be more than conquerors.”

In addition to learning about coffee, Bergeron learned more about himself.

“I learned how to tap into the courage I didn’t know I had,” he said.

Bergeron has found blending different beans from different countries of origin creates better, more consistent coffee than a single origin coffee bean. Much trial and error went into developing the blends that Revival sells.

Even the names of the blends have significance.

“The names of the blends, they’re different fruits of revival,” Bergeron said. “There’s an Integrity, there’s a Redemption, there’s a Restoration, there’s a Salvation – and that’s part of the vision of the company is to be able to sow back into different ministries and nonprofit organizations that are doing good.”

Ten percent of the sales of each blend benefits a different organization working in an area of need.

For instance, those who buy the Integrity blend will help feed children in Africa. Those who buy Redemption will battle human trafficking. Those who purchase Salvation will aid the unborn. Those who buy Restoration will help those struggling with substance abuse.

Each purchase on the website is roasted to order and shipped out within a day or two of placing the order. You can also find Revival in some retail outlets and several coffee shops throughout the state.

“If your favorite coffee shop doesn’t carry it, then all you’ve got to do is say, ‘Hey, y’all need to check Revival coffees out and try their stuff. I hear it’s pretty good.’ And we will get in there,” Bergeron said.

The product: Whole bean and ground coffee in special blends to benefit worthy causes.

Take home: A 12-ounce bag of Redemption, $11.95 plus tax and shipping from Revival’s online site.

Revival Coffee Company


Republished with permission of The Associated Press.