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Welcome Blue Ridge Bootleg to the Tembo Family

Matt King (1)
We are thrilled to welcome Matt King and Blue Ridge Bootleg to the Tembo family, check out the intriguing story and history behind this unique coffee brand!

Music to My Ears

In the rolling hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Matt’s childhood was filled with bluegrass music, auctioneer old-time Baptist churches, and a long lineage of moonshiners. Yet, it wasn’t the kick he craved. His heart beat to the rhythm of the music that poured through his home, although all the elements would fuse together later in life. Unlike most who simply just admired melodies, Matt wanted to make a career out of his love for music.
With just $300 and a 1979 Jeep Wrangler, Matt dared to pursue what had become his dream of playing the Opry stage. His journey took a turn when he inked a deal with Atlantic Records, marking the beginning of a six-year musical odyssey. Although his two traditional country projects garnered the praise of the likes of People Magazine and Rolling Stone, the desire to carve his own path led Matt to leave Atlantic Records. He soon co-founded a band called Limberjack alongside Paul Deakin and Robert Reynolds, founding members of the Grammy award-winning band, the Mavericks.

Life Is Too Short For Bad Coffee

With years of touring the songwriter, accustomed to early mornings and late nights, found support in the rich embrace of some of the finest coffee shops around the world. Although the dream of opening a coffee shop crossed his mind, it wasn’t the right time. Yet, as time unfurled its chapters, Matt found the perfect moment to embark on a new coffee roasting venture.
Blue Ridge Bootleg is a coffee brand born out of Matt’s love for the perfect cup combined with his rich family heritage and a deep love of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With a mission rooted in Fair Trade and Organic practices, Blue Ridge Bootleg sought to positively impact farmers’ lives. Matt’s belief in ethically-sourced, single-origin coffees, led to the creation of the Organic El Salvador Monte Verde roast, which he calls, “Popskull Pitch”. It’s aptly named after the moonshine his grandfather and great-grandfather used to make in Hendersonville, North Carolina.
In the heart of El Salvador’s Monte Verde, under the skilled guidance of Rene Contreras, the coffee cherries for this blend were precisely handpicked at their ripest point. The natural processing method brought out the coffee’s sweetness and fruity notes. Bright tropical flavors of pineapple and passion fruit danced with delicate hints of caramel and chocolate in each cup.
As the story of Blue Ridge Bootleg unfolded, it became a tribute to Matt’s dedication to quality and the skill of coffee growers worldwide. The journey from moonshine-soaked hills to many years in the music industry, and finally to the rich flavors of Monte Verde Natural, encapsulated Matt’s belief that life’s adventures were best complemented by a good cup of coffee.
Once again, we are excited to welcome Matt King and Blue Ridge Bootleg to the Tembo family! Be on the lookout for his upcoming coffee shop in downtown Sylva, and if you’re not around check out their website to grab some delicious coffee!