How "Operant Coffee" was Born

Photo by f11photo/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by f11photo/iStock / Getty Images

By Beth Garrison, CEO

Operant Coffee was probably something that was always there, waiting.  Ultimately, it is the love child from an affair between the city of Philadelphia and the science of Behavior Analysis.

I've loved coffee most of my life, stemming from middle and high school weekly trips to Passero's Suburban Station Cafe when I would travel by train to meet my dad to take piano lessons in Rittenhouse Square--when I had aspirations to be a great classical musician and play for the Philadephia Orchestra.  I would sample their different roasts (a new one every week), and it would keep me caffeinated enough to stay awake through my hour long lesson, and two hour commute from my high school in Olney to Center City and back to my home in Olney.

Fast forward to college where I attended Temple University, and did not make it in to the Music School, but met amazing professors and graduate students in the Psychology department, who took a chance on a shy sophomore with no direction, and showed her the wonders of Behavior Analysis.    I was hooked, and have been ever since, obtaining my Board Certification as a Behavior Analyst, and then various behavior licenses/certifications along the way.  Throughout this experience it was coffee that kept me fueled during late night study sessions learning the new "behavior analytic" language, and the various local Philadelphia coffee shops along the way.

It was only fitting that after I thought up the idea of Operant Coffee (complete with its flagship of Burrhus's Breakfast Blend, to pay a homage to B.F. Skinner), and that after emailing and calling several roasters who would not return my calls or emails, that one roaster came back to join me on this interesting ride.  To teach me even more about coffee, and to help me learn about tasting, cupping, pour overs, and roasting.  It was  Philly Fair Trade Roasters who came to my rescue to support this new mission.

Operant Coffee is a testament to both this great city, and the amazing science I practice.  We hope we help you serve amazing coffee.

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