Name: Mary Tellie
Title: Founder and President
Company: Electric City Roasting Co.
Address: 1201 A Marshwood Road, Throop
Mary Tellie is always trying to be part of the solution, and not be part of the problem.
With this philosophy in mind, Electric City Roasting Company (ECR), NEPA’s premier coffee roaster, was born. The founder and president of the company started ECR in her garage in 2003, and today celebrates becoming a regional specialty coffee roaster and retailer, offering a wide spectrum of coffee, cold brew, tea and allied products designed to support the local coffee retailer as well as the consumer.
“Our multi-channel structure affords our partners the opportunity to have access to our suite of products as well as the expertise to guide and implement great tasting coffee and espresso-based drinks from new café owners to high volume cafes. Our Retail Café, ECR Park, is located in Peckville,” she explains.
Likewise, the company also supports local and regional grocery store chains throughout NEPA and the Lehigh Valley, and as an extension to that their robust B2C ecommerce platform, electriccityroasting.com gives customers access to award-winning coffees online, and cold brew to customers nationwide.
“We are very proud of our professional and disciplined approach to selecting some of the world’s best coffees. Our participation in the coffee supply chain to this extent affords our customers the opportunity to taste these coffees, while understanding the work we do within the coffee producing countries to maintain sustainability and community,” said the entrepreneur.
As the owner, she develops relationships through coffees they import, as well as creating the space for collaboration with a team of roasters, and cuppers (tasters) to develop the optimal roast profiles. She also ensures that their team provides leading edge service, products, and education to customers. ( I would like to add that it is important to me to support employee growth and development in Specialty coffee as well, as one of our employees is the regional Cold Brew Champion)
Retiring as a CFP and wealth management advisor in 2002, she frequently consumed coffee while working in San Francisco. “I could not find such coffee in Scranton, so I set out to learn about coffee so I could recreate that coffee taste,” she admits, and did so from the ground up. “The more I learned about the coffee industry, the more I admired it, and I knew it was where I wanted to be,” she noted.
In 2004, she opened Zummo’s Café, but it was not until she visited a coffee farm that she realized there is a whole other side to the coffee supply chain and recognized how much of it she did yet not know. In 2007, she purchased their first production coffee roaster and in 2008 became a Licensed Q grader — one of only 514 in the world at that time. She served on the International Jury for Cup of Excellence for six separate events in Latin and South America, and was selected as one of the only female World Brewer’s Cup Competition judges in Austria in 2012.
In 2016, she led a team of new coffee roasters through Peru as an educational and discovery trip to understand the farming practices of certain regions, and was elected the chairperson of the Roaster Guild. She was appointed to serve on the board of the Specialty Coffee Association as Treasurer. Fast forward to today and she is finishing her term on the Coffee Science Foundation as inaugural chairperson.
Her mentors include some very dynamic women in the banking and finance industry and business mentors in the coffee industry, but most importantly have been her parents who taught her hard work, respect, and discipline.
Her husband, siblings, children, grandchildren and friends have supported her vision of coffee from the very beginning.
She is a guest lecturer at the University of Scranton and Marywood for entrepreneurship studies. ECR is a member of the WBENC. She was recognized as one of the Ten Incredible Women in Coffee by Barista Magazine.