About Velvet Ditch Coffee Roasters

Velvet Ditch Coffee Roasters is a Specialty Coffee Roaster in Oxford, MS.  We specialize in sourcing and expertly roasting the finest single origin beans, crafting unique profiles that accentuate the bean’s natural flavor.  We are committed to the communities we serve and the farmers who grow our coffee beans.  Quality and consistency are top priorities and Velvet Ditch Coffee Roasters only sources beans with scores above 80 points on a 100-point scale.  Our goal is to make delicious coffee that offers a memorable experience for Velvet Ditch Coffee followers.


About the Roaster

“Like so many others who have found inspiration in Oxford, Mississippi, I draw inspiration from its charm, people and culture, handcrafting small batches of coffee with full-flavor expressions in every roast.”
— Lesley Vance Walkington

A Mississippi native, Lesley has been connected to Oxford since she was a child, visiting her father’s hometown to see aunts, uncles and cousins.

In 2015, Lesley and her husband Brian relocated to Oxford from San Diego to raise their daughter. “Oxford is the kind of place that stays in your heart, and you never want to leave. It’s a comfortable, cozy place; hence the term Velvet Ditch,” Lesley says. “It’s easy for anyone to feel at home here, with friendships that can last a lifetime, amazingly delicious food, great music and a big art scene.”

“I’ve always been a coffee enthusiast. My love for coffee was sparked even more one Christmas when my brother served us pour overs each morning while visiting.  The pour over process brings out more flavor notes because of the prolonged extraction time of the grounds in the hot water.  Making pour overs has been our morning ritual ever since,” Lesley says.

Driven by curiosity and a lifelong love of learning, Lesley enrolled at Boot Coffee Campus where she earned her Specialty Coffee Association certification.  “I always loved math and chemistry in school, and roasting is both a science and an art form.  I monitor my coffee closely during the roasting process because there’s so much going on with heat transfer, thermodynamics and chemistry coming together; and my goal is to create the highest standard of quality and flavor in every roast.  It’s a balancing act,” she adds.

Lesley followed her passion for coffee, launching Velvet Ditch Coffee Roasters with a focus on sourcing and roasting unique profiles that accentuate the bean’s natural flavor.  Velvet Ditch Coffee Roasters’ goal is to make delicious Specialty coffee that offers a memorable experience for its followers.  Specialty coffee is grown at high altitudes, picked at peak ripeness and is known for its quality and consistency.

“We love to visit in the South on our front porches with our coffee in hand.  Velvet Ditch Coffee makes those moments with family and friends even more special,” Lesley says.