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Why We’re Called Dear Green

  • 4 min read

The mystery. The wonder. The age old question. Why are we called Dear Green?

It’s a question we get asked often, so we thought it was about time we answered. There’s no doubt that the origins of our name are steeped in the history of our home city of Glasgow. As we’ve grown as a brand, so too has the name, intertwining with our mission, while complementing our goals as an ethical and sustainable company. 

Ready? Ok, let’s dive in!

A Dear Green Coffee Roasters staff member stamps our logo on to our brown craft paper bag.

Dear Not Deer

Judging by our google analytics, this is a common mistake and seems like a great place to start. That’s right! It’s definitely Dear and definitely not Deer.Even though Scotland is home to more than 1,000,000 deer at the last count, they are more akin to roaming forests (even though one was roaming the streets near our roastery during lockdown) and eating tree bark, than sipping on some carefully sourced specialty coffee. So next time you're searching for us, remove an and add an and you’ll end up in the right place.

Dear Green Place 

If you’ve heard of Glasgow, you have probably heard of the nickname too. Known affectionately as ‘The Dear Green Place’, the phrase can be traced to the literal translation of Glasgow in Gaelic, Glaschu. The nickname itself has been around since the mid-twentieth century, but before that, things were very different. Thanks to the thick smog that formed over the city during the industrial age, the city was known by the less affectionate names, ‘The Grey Blacksmith’ or ‘The Greyhound’.

The reason for the change in nickname to ‘Dear Green Place’ wasn’t down to an ingenious marketing technique employed by the city to change its image, but was actually due to the linguistics of the Gaelic language. In Gaelic, the word ‘Glas’ is actually an umbrella term that means both dull grey and pale green.

This forms the origins of our name and is where we took the inspiration from. Well that and our close proximity to the famous Glasgow’s famous park, Glasgow Green. We’re glad that the name became what it is today, because we don’t think ‘Grey Blacksmith Coffee Roasters’ has the same ring to it. When we first adopted the name, it was rarely used in popular culture or the media, but nowadays it’s an ingrained part of our language. We knew that to be adopted by the Glasgow locals, we had to select a name which spoke the language of the city. Especially at a time when specialty coffee was unheard of in Glasgow. 

To this day, Glasgow remains the Dear Green Place, with expansive green spaces forming the landscape between the tenements & historic architecture of our incredible city. 

Picture of the original Probat coffee roasters at the first ever Dear Green roastery on Airds Lane, Glasgow.

Our first ever roaster at our first ever roastery on Airds Lane, Glasgow.

Coffee is Green

It’s true, coffee is green before it’s roasted. It’s a common misconception that the green in our name relates to our commitment to carefully sourced green coffee. To be honest, it’s not a bad guess to make that connection. From the very beginning we’ve been committed to sourcing and roasting ethically sourced coffee, with full traceability to the farmer, farm, washing station, cooperative or mill. We’ve even visited several of the producers we buy from to build relationships and gain a better understanding of how coffee is grown at origin. Ethical green coffee is, and always will be a massive part of what we do at Dear Green Coffee Roasters. 

This seems like a good time to take a short break for you to have a look at our seasonal coffees.

Bags of green coffee stacked up at the Dear Green Coffee roastery. Each back displays unique art work.

Creating a Sustainable Coffee Roastery

Over the past few years we’ve been on an incredible journey to become a more sustainable roastery, with the goal of becoming net zero by 2030. That, of course, means that the green in our name means that we are a green company, right? Way back in the beginning we knew that we wanted to do things differently, carving our own path and creating a roastery that was passionate about people, product & planet.

We’ve led the way when it comes to creating a sustainable roastery, having been certified as a B Corp for the first time in 2020 and committing to net zero by 2030 as part of the B Corp climate collective. The next step in this journey began earlier this year when we created a position  of Sustainability Coordinator.

Earlier this month we published our first ever Carbon Footprint report and aim to use the data from this to create a realistic carbon reduction strategy. We also work with 1% for the Planet to donate 1% of our annual turnover to local environmental projects such as Green Heart Growers, Bute Forrest, Washhouse Garden, Locavore, Recyke-A-Bike & Trees For Life, alongside coffee charities like World Coffee Research, working at origin. We recognise that we must protect the resources that form the very fabric of our business. After all, why should we take from the planet, without giving back.

Wooden display showing our B Corp certification.

Dear Green Coffee Roasters

So there you have it. Now you know why we’re called Dear Green Coffee Roasters and we can put to bed some of the common misconceptions when it comes to our name.  As the words in the blog post began to fill the page, it became obvious that maybe our name is now more than just a nod to the nickname of our great city. Maybe all these things do feed into the bigger picture of the institution that Dear Green has become, encapsulating our vision for a coffee roastery that puts ethical sourcing, sustainability, the environment and our people, at the heart of everything we do. 

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