About Us



[adj. ahy-ern-klad; n. ahy-ern-klad]

so firm or secure as to be unbreakable: as …

a :  binding <an ironclad promise>
b :  having no obvious weakness


The Concept

Ironclad Coffee Roasters’ Founder, Ryan O’Rourke, spent almost five years of his life in Europe.  During this time, he was immersed in a culture that embraced many important values; however, an excellent standard of customer service was, generally, not one of those values.

This experience was an eye-opener for him.  It created within him a passion for, and almost an obsession with, providing an outstanding product with impeccable levels of integrity and customer service.  This is why our “ironclad” promise to unwaveringly provide the highest standard of customer care goes beyond mere business motivations; it is a passion rooted in preserving and, perhaps, restoring part of what has made America great.

The Coffee

Although the specialty coffee industry is growing, there are many Americans who are now drinking coffee of lesser quality, in some cases, than what was available 50 years ago — which is mind-boggling!

Coffee that qualifies as “Specialty Grade” — per the standards of the Specialty Coffee Association — is something superior.  More than just a fancy term, specialty-grade coffee is unique in terms of its cultivation, harvesting, preparation, and roasting.  But, what it really comes down to is selecting the best beans with the least amount of defects in order to deliver the highest-quality cup of coffee.

From our Founder, Ryan O’Rourke:

“Specialty coffee is, in truth, a luxury.  For those of us who have a fervent love for coffee, however, we have elevated it to a near necessity.  With that always in mind, I believe coffee should be treated in such a way that only the best green (raw) coffees from the best farms are selected by the roaster; only the highest standards of research, roasting, and testing should be employed to unlock the very best of what each coffee contains; and those freshly roasted coffees should be delivered to every customer with an ‘ironclad’ promise of consistency and reliability.  To do anything less undermines the lofty level at which we’ve placed specialty coffee in the 21st century.


“When you purchase something from an artisan, you’re buying more than a product.  You’re acquiring countless hours of errors and experimentation. You’re buying years of frustration and moments of pure joy.  You’re not purchasing just one thing; rather, you are buying a piece of a heart, a piece of a soul.  A small piece of someone else’s life.”

All that having been said, the Ironclad outlook on coffee is also one that sees a fun-loving approach as a vital component to the whole.  With an abundance of misinformation circulating about coffee, there can be a pull toward an air of superiority — often unintended.  From the outset, we have been committed to knowing and roasting fantastic coffee while always passing on our lighthearted and down-to-earth approach to coffee.  Our goal is for you to come away with an experience feeling confident and empowered about coffee instead of more confused and unsure.  So, let’s learn coffee together, and let’s have loads of fun in the process!

To learn more about our approach to coffee, check out our philosophy page.

What Our Customers Are Saying

“Our mission as an independently owned coffee shop is to always source our coffees consciously and locally. With the help of the folks at Ironclad, it’s coffee sourcing with no “fimble-famble!”  Between their exceptional customer service and speedy delivery turnaround, they have left nothing to chance as one of Richmond’s newest and finest roasters of specialty coffees. We love having them as an addition to our ever-changing single-origin coffee selection!”  ~ Manda from Perk! Bon Air

“Working with the Ironclad team is like working with partners.  They’re honest and genuinely care about our needs as an individual customer.  We love using a roaster who is local to Richmond, and our customers have enjoyed the switch.  I have full confidence in the consistency of their product  every cup we brew, and every shot we pull.”  ~ Claire from Stir Crazy Café

“The best, most layered cup of coffee I’ve ever had and the kindest, most knowledgeable guys.  Ironclad really knows coffee and it’s definitely a perk that they’re so into giving back to the Richmond community.”  ~ Megan from Richmond, Virginia

“Not only are the owners super friendly and approachable, but their coffee is out of this world. Hands down the best cold brew I’ve ever had. Looking forward to trying more of their roasts ASAP.”  ~ Matthew from Banner Elk, North Carolina