Pickleball Blend: Drink in the spirit of Bainbridge Island

Pickleball Blend: Drink in the spirit of Bainbridge Island

Bainbridge Island, Washington is a unique place. Located 30 minutes from Seattle by ferry, it’s close enough to the city to feel its influence but also just far enough to provide a respite from city life. It’s a place where industrious people go to unwind, to clear their minds, and to take in great views. Cloaked in lush evergreens, the Island is where urban sophistication and small-town charm intersect: where industry and recreation, culture and nature all co-exist. Long a haven for free-thinkers, it’s no wonder numerous actors, artists, musicians and entrepreneurs have called the Island home – and where its residents, perhaps by extension, have felt the freedom to create and experiment.

It seems almost predestined, therefore, that Pickleball - the quirky and revolutionary game that has been the fastest growing sport in America for three years running - was born on Bainbridge Island. As the story goes, in the summer of 1965, soon-to-be US Congressman Joel Pritchard and Seattle businessman Bill Bell returned to Pritchard’s Bainbridge Island home to find their families sitting around with nothing to do. The property had an old badminton court, but they couldn’t find a full set of badminton rackets. So, they improvised and started playing with ping-pong paddles and a perforated plastic ball. Initially, they placed the net at badminton height and volleyed the ball over the net. But, as the weekend progressed, they discovered that the ball bounced well on the asphalt surface, so they lowered the net to 36 inches. They loved their new game so much they started sharing it with friends, including Barney McCallum (the sport's third founder and pioneer). And the rest, as they say, is history: Pritchard, Bell and McCallum had invented a new pastime by creatively fusing elements of badminton, tennis and ping pong. 

Not only did they succeed in creating a game the whole family could play together, they also unknowingly developed a sport that is bringing whole communities together. Behind pickleball’s rapid rise is its ability to be played by almost anyone with minimal equipment, and that it is most often played in teams of two. It’s a wonderful medium for physical activity and social interaction - both timely antidotes to the enforced isolation and inactivity of the COVID-19 pandemic years. 

At Pegasus, we love to play pickleball, and we are inspired by its beginnings right here in our backyard. We also can’t help but notice the parallels between the early days of Pickleball and our own origin story. 

Like Pickleball’s founders, our founder started what became Pegasus Coffee out of a personal need. After moving to Bainbridge in the 1970s, David Dessinger often complained about the lack of quality coffee on the Island and in Seattle generally. He complained so much, in fact, that his friends eventually asked him to either “shut up or do something about it.” We’re all grateful that David - in the creative spirit of his new Island home - decided to do something about it!

And, like Pickleball’s founders, David’s ingenuity also led him to co-pioneer a new industry - Specialty Coffee. In the early 1980s, he not only built a specialty roasting business on Bainbridge, he also established the Pacific Northwest’s first European-style Coffee House serving espresso at Winslow Wharf (1980), and downtown Seattle’s very first specialty coffee bar inside the historic Dexter Horton Building (1983). More than 40 years later, all three of these ventures continue to thrive.

It’s no coincidence that our company, the Specialty Coffee industry, and the sport of Pickleball all trace their origins back to a small island in the middle of Puget Sound. Bainbridge Island’s unique environment encouraged these founders to create and experiment and provided an open-minded community of residents ready to embrace, support and help spread their inventions.  

We are thrilled to introduce our latest limited release coffee - Pickleball Blend. With it, we hope to share with you a small piece of what makes our Island special, a taste of the warm summer breeze that surely passed through the evergreen trees as Pritchard and Bell unassumingly invented one of America’s new favorite pastimes. It’s the same breeze that David Dessinger must have felt on his boat in Eagle Harbor as he taught himself to roast high-quality, highly flavorful coffee. 

To us, Pickleball Blend represents the best of our Island home and the Quality and Community that have fueled our company’s success for so many years. We couldn’t be more excited to share it with you.

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