About Us

We are a small organic coffee roastery located 200 miles north of San Francisco in a magical pristine area called Southern Humboldt. We have old growth redwoods, a wild lost coast where majestic mountains dip straight into the ocean, organic vineyards, and a history of growing some of the finest marijuana in the world. 

When David and Karyn Thomas moved to Southern Humboldt over thirty years ago, they saw the need for a local coffee roaster. "Escapees" from the city and corporate life, they wanted to create a business that was based on their old hippy values. They wanted to create a business that didn't operate on greed, but on giving back; to their employees and to their community. And of course, saving the planet was top of mind, and they knew that coffee would be a good vehicle for social and environmental change. Signature Coffee sold their first coffee in November of 1988, and has been a leader in sustainability ever since.


Our team, which is more like a family, is a loving and caring group of individuals that not only love coffee but love that our coffee helps to make this a better world.  

KARYN LEE-THOMAS     JahVa Mama • Founder • CEO

Karyn Lee-Thomas aka jahva mama picking coffee in El Salvador.Pictured here on a coffee farm in El Salvador, Karyn is passionate about making a difference in the world by using Signature Coffee as a vehicle for environmental and social change. She served eight years on the Sustainability Council of the Specialty Coffee Association; 2 years on the board of the International Woman's Coffee Alliance, was president of her local Rotary Club and has served as a director on the area’s community credit union. She loves traveling, gardening, nature and being an environmental activist. She drinks yerba mate and  japanese matcha in addition to coffee. Her current favorite coffees include organic Java Kayumas, and a Smithsonian Bird Friendly coffee from the Mesa de los Santos estate in Colombia. 



Sarah Sunshine Centeno,  General Manager shown in retail department.

Signature Coffee is Sarah’s home away from home. With us since 2010, she started as a barista, blossoming into our Retail Manager in 2012. In 2020 she stepped up as our General Manager. She loves the reward of leading her team and seeing it all come together. Sarah is a native of Humboldt County and loves being in the center of the Emerald Triangle. She’s a true medium roast lover and enjoys the rotating daily selection served at the shop. She has a real passion for coffee and is always looking to learn more about this amazing plant.


BARBARA SHORT  •  Operations Manager

Barbara Short, Operations Manager shown by coffee roaster.

We love Barbara! Barbara came to us in the thick of it in 2020, quickly becoming our MVP. Similar to Sarah, she started as a barista, cross-trained in the warehouse and then learned to roast as well! A true triple threat. Ever eager to take on more, she is now our Operations Manager and we are so lucky to have someone with such a positive attitude overseeing our daily operations!

She actually had her first cup of coffee here at the shop over 15 years ago! Her favorite coffees are South American medium roasts as well as our Ethiopian varietals.


NICK NOCHERA  •  Roastmaster

Nick Nochera, Roastmaster, shown roasting coffee.

Nick is our rising star! Since his start with us he’s taken on the lead role as our Roastmaster. Nicks calm observant nature lends itself to the skills needed in both the science and art of roasting coffee. Blending just right with our Signature family! We’re thrilled to have him on the team!     


Baristas - Barbara, Ceci, Elaine, Lainey and Bristol

Laine, Elaine and Barbara posing in the retail department.

 These are the friendly faces you will see at our Coffee Bar. They go above and beyond to make sure that everyone who walks through our door is greeted with a smile and feels right at home. They’ll steer you to a cup you love and they’ll even preheat that mug for you !


Warehouse Wizards - Lainey, Bristol and Barbara   

Laine and Barbara, shown in the warehouse. 

The unsung heroes of the shop, they do all the background work packaging up your freshly roasted coffee to order. Each bag is weighed and labeled by hand and their attention to detail keeps operations running smoothly.  


 KEBRA  -  Delivery Diva

Kebra, Signature delivery driver in front of van.

 Kebra spends her days driving up and    down the 101 delivering all of our freshly roasted coffees to restaurants, heath food stores, and espresso shops.


Organic Rodent Control Team

Siggy the cat, our organic rodent control.Nature the cat, our organic rodent control.








I've heard it said more than once that cats select their owners. And we were fortunate enough that both of these beautiful creatures found their way to our backyard and it was love at first sight. They are a big part of the Signature family.