Bozeman is one of the largest gateways to Yellowstone National Park, welcoming a vast majority of the 4.8 million visitors to the park each year. When approached in 2018, Treeline Coffee Roasters was quick to agree that a partnership with the park’s official nonprofit was an obvious fit. Since then, as Treeline Coffee Roasters has grown, so has their impact on the park, the connection to the people of Bozeman, and the stewardship of the land that inspires all of us.
As a mission-based coffee company, Treeline is deeply connected to land. By travelling to meet farmers, harvesters, and brewers of their coffee, they develop a superior product, and an ethical, sustainable business model. Aware of the unique nature of having a world class park in their backyard, the partnership has evolved to become a strong connection for customers, employees, and the greater Bozeman community.
Homegrown in Bozeman, Treeline owners have a local connection to Yellowstone. Aside from the beautiful, almost spiritual moments they’ve had in the park, Treeline recognizes the connection between the town and the park. In 2019, more than 80% of visitors to Yellowstone went through Montana’s entrances. Visitors spent more than $3.24 billion in the state that year, with the largest share going to Gallatin County, home to Bozeman. And this connection continues to strengthen – 2021 saw record-high visitation numbers. The Bozeman airport set a record in 2021 with almost 2 million passengers. As a small, local business, Treeline relies on this connection to survive – bringing in customers, employees, and interested visitors. Tourism supported over 30,000 jobs in the Gallatin County in 2020 alone.
Treeline and Yellowstone share sustainability principles that made the partnership a easy fit. What started with the sharing coffee and beans for employees working hard to protect the park turned into a much more in-depth relationship. One that focused on our shared values of community and preservation of the world’s first national park.
“Just like the park, our company was born in the mountains, and forged by a deep connection to the land, the water, and the wildlife.” – Deejay Newell, Co-Owner, Treeline Coffee
As local residents and adventurers, Treeline employees develop a deep connection to the partnership with Yellowstone Forever. During employee training opportunities, Treeline explains the partnership, including the Grand Prismatic blend, and why they feel they owe it to the park to give back. Finding ways to connect employee interests and community goals helps drive the day-to-day mission of selling great coffee. They maintain a “work hard, play hard” mentality at work, and often, that playing takes place in and around the park. Employees feel more connected to the park, and therefore to the mission of the organization. As a small business, their mission is a big driver of their success, and their partnership with Yellowstone Forever helps.
And in return, they are recognized as a partner in the community. People can see their mission aligning with the community’s values – as the relationship to the park is something that unites all that live in the area.
Coffee for the Community
Since 2018, Treeline Coffee has brewed the Grand Prismatic Blend, a bright, vivid, and wild blend that donates 10% of proceeds to the park. It allows customers to take part in the partnership – the more coffee sold with Treeline, the more impact can be had in the park. Over the length of the partnership, Treeline has participated in the 1872 Blend for “Give Big Gallatin Valley”, Bozeman’s annual day of giving and philanthropy, hosted Yellowstone Forever for meetings, events and the made in-kind donations for board and staff meetings and throughout the years.
Working with Yellowstone Forever
As two local, community-focused organizations, Treeline and Yellowstone Forever had a lot in common from the start. As the partnership evolved, Treeline became a partner in the mission of protecting Yellowstone. At regular meetings, Treeline asks questions about park visitation, challenges, and opportunities, and receives updates about Yellowstone Forever’s progress. They feel connected, in a meaningful way, to the success of the park.
“Bozeman is home to hundreds of nonprofits, but none have a bigger impact on Yellowstone. It allows us a foot in the door to hear about Yellowstone, to get a take on the pulse of the park, to allow us to hear updates. We are in this together – it is a true partnership.”
– Deejay Newell, Co-Owner, Treeline Coffee
This case study was written and prepared by Miles Starr Radin, in collaboration with Yellowstone Forever, Treeline Coffee and Yale School of the Environment. Miles Starr Radin is an environmental advocate, national park visitor, and graduate of the Yale School of the Environment (MEM ’22). He started his career as a naturalist in Yosemite National Park, has worked at a variety of urban conservation programs (John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, Chestnut Hill Conservancy), and is working to integrate business to further our planet’s challenging sustainability goals at Subaru of America, Inc.
For more information about corporate partnerships with Yellowstone Forever contact:
Sam Barkley (He/Him)
Senior Director, Corporate Partnerships