Tag Archive for: business

by Rocky Rhodes

Roasters Rock

Categories: 2015, SeptemberTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Back in the day… (All old roaster sto­ries start like that) there were no, none, nada, zero classes for the pro­fes­sional roaster. Everybody was on their own.

Large com­pa­nies had inter­nal ‘roaster oper­a­tor’ classes that moved peo­ple up the ranks of pro­duc­tion to run the roast­ing machine. The first goal of these classes; don’t burn down the build­ing. The sec­ond goal; pro­duce exactly the same cof­fee over and over again as effi­ciently as possible.

Back in the day… If you wanted to be an ‘arti­san’ roaster you had two choices for learn­ing the trade. The first was to find a men­tor that would share indus­try secrets and allow you to appren­tice with them for a while. The sec­ond was to fig­ure it out for your­self by just get­ting started and hope for the best.

The first approach is only as good as your men­tor. A men­tor that prob­a­bly taught him­self. The sec­ond approach was fun, like being in the Wild West, but was prob­a­bly an expen­sive learn­ing curve and VERY time consuming.

Luckily for the rest of you young­sters, (Another thing old roast­ers say) you don’t have to take either of the above paths. You owe a lot of the avail­abil­ity of knowl­edge to an indus­tri­ous group of vol­un­teers that formed the Roasters Guild.

These pro­fes­sion­als thought it would be a great to be able to teach the new­bies as well as expe­ri­enced roast­ers alike. This would be a knowl­edge trans­fer of the things that go into cre­at­ing and improv­ing their roast­ing craft. They com­bined their col­lec­tive expe­ri­ences with research from SCAA and oth­ers to cre­ate the first roast­ing classes.

Over the years, SCAA has been able to add pro­fes­sional edu­ca­tors to staff and really focus on being able to deliver con­sis­tent, pro­fes­sional mate­r­ial. The roast­ers guild mem­bers are still called upon as subject-matter experts and their knowl­edge is fit into a teach­ing struc­ture that is repeatable.

Back in MY days as a young(er) roaster I took my first roast­ing class at the SCAA show in Anaheim. I was VERY intim­i­dated to say the least. I had a men­tor that taught me every­thing he knew. I had about 5 years of roast­ing under my belt. I was sup­posed to know what I was doing. As it turned out I was doing the best job I knew how, and that job was just a wild guess as to how it gen­er­ated the results I wanted.

I took a roast­ing level 1 course. I remem­ber think­ing “Holy Cow! That is what’s going on inside the bean?!?” My table lead, Kathi Zollman made me feel so great about learn­ing that I for­got about being embar­rassed. I became a devout stu­dent of the craft and tried where I could to add to the con­tent of classes being formed.

So where is the value in tak­ing roast­ing classes? If you shell out a cou­ple thou­sand dol­lars to get your Roaster Level 1 cer­ti­fi­ca­tion will it result in more rev­enue for your com­pany? Will you be able to get a raise? A pro­mo­tion? Will you gain a skillset that makes you more valu­able to your employer?

The answer is yes to all of the above! Roasting classes, espe­cially those that have been cre­ated by mul­ti­ple experts in the field as opposed to a sin­gle source, squish tons of good info into them. The com­bined knowl­edge and skills make these classes really come alive. Imagine the decades of expe­ri­ence that went into Roasting 101. Even if you have been roast­ing for a while, you will ben­e­fit from the insights of others.

Taking a class can have two lev­els of value. First is the knowl­edge you acquire. Just remem­ber, you can learn a lot of this stuff by your­self by just doing it. But every good busi­ness­man will tell you that if you can pay to learn some­thing it will always be a bet­ter value than try­ing to learn it on your own.

The sec­ond level of value is the oppor­tu­nity for growth, the improve­ment of your prod­uct or the sav­ings in expenses that you can achieve after learn­ing the con­tent of the class.

Every roaster I know has told me that they have ben­e­fit­ted in their busi­ness and per­sonal growth by tak­ing the classes far above and beyond what they paid for the class.

So back in the day, I would have gladly paid to learn what I learned the hard way. Take advan­tage of the classes avail­able to you. You will always learn some­thing that will help you.

Rocky Rhodes is an 18 year cof­fee vet­eran, roaster, and Q-Grader Instructor, and his mis­sion now is to trans­form the cof­fee sup­ply chain and make sweep­ing dif­fer­ences in the lives of those that pro­duce the green cof­fee. Rocky can be reached at

Work Hard, Play Hard

Categories: 2015, SeptemberTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Albert Scala, finan­cial guru of the coffee-trading world, spends time in the moun­tains of Brazil, the gov­ern­ment offices of Colombia, and coöper­a­tive farms in Peru. Mostly, though, he’s hun­kered over phones in his office at IFC Stone in Miami, Florida, watch­ing the cof­fee futures mar­kets and advis­ing his clients on trades, puts, and calls.

This past September of 2014, how­ever, found Albert with the spray and roar of the Deschutes River nigh on his right hip, shoul­ders bent over the han­dle­bars of a rented moun­tain bike, exhil­a­rat­ing down the ruts and jumps of an 18% grade river­side trail. Right behind him, grin­ning ear to ear, was Daniel Robles Muguira, a cof­fee farmer from a fam­ily steeped in Mexico’s rich cof­fee cul­ture. Daniel’s fam­ily runs cof­fee farms, a decaf­feina­tion facil­ity, as well as a sol­u­ble cof­fee pro­duc­tion plant in Veracruz. At this moment these two respected mem­bers of our cof­fee tribe were not think­ing of Roya, the New York C mar­ket, or drought in Brazil; they were instead cut­ting tracks on a dirt bike trail, focused on hang­ing on ‘till they could skid their steel stal­lions to a halt at the base of a water­fall marked on their route map, and take a refresh­ing plunge in the still pool at its base.

Just down­river from Albert and Daniel’s jour­ney, Leanne and Murray (The Silver Fox) Ross, of Dreyfus in New Orleans, and Arianna Hartstrom of Costa Oro Green Coffee Warehousing & Distribution in Portland, Oregon were rid­ing horse­back through the high desert splen­dor of cen­tral Oregon.

23 miles to the west, Johnny Hornung and Robin Gittins of Incasa Coffee in Berkeley, California, the longest run­ning importer of whole­sale sol­u­ble cof­fee in the US, were rid­ing a chair­lift up the north slope of the majes­tic vol­cano, Mt. Bachelor – one in a series of tow­er­ing vol­canic peaks that form the Cascade Range extend­ing north­ward for more than 700 miles (1,100 km) from north­east­ern California, through Oregon and Washington, into south­ern British Columbia. Robin and Johnny’s sum­mer chair­lift ride was tak­ing them above tree-line to a won­der of majes­tic views and a beau­ti­ful down­hill, scent-filled, vista-rich hike back to their rental car.

Other cof­fee pro­fes­sion­als were raft­ing the Deschutes, play­ing golf, or shar­ing a beer or cup of cof­fee over lunch with new­found friends.

And so it went that Saturday at the Pacific Coast Coffee Association’s 83rd annual con­ven­tion in SunRiver, Oregon. Greg Thayer of Cascade Coffee in Seattle, Washington, had this to say about his time that afternoon:

I had lunch sched­uled with one of our film sup­pli­ers and a joint cus­tomer to dis­cuss busi­ness oppor­tu­ni­ties. It was a beau­ti­ful day at the hotel restau­rant over­look­ing the golf course and Mt. Bachelor. Another film sup­plier was about to be seated near us so we invited him to join us at our table. He brought with him an equip­ment man­u­fac­turer and a com­peti­tor to our cus­tomer. We sat around the table and made intro­duc­tions, and got to know one another. We had a ter­rific lunch together! We were able to lay aside our sense of busi­ness com­pe­ti­tion and cor­po­rate ‘bound­aries’ to just be human, laugh, and make new friends. We met peo­ple in the indus­try that we never would have known if it weren’t for the PCCA gath­er­ing us together. To this day, I stay in touch with all the par­ties I met at our ‘spur of the moment lunch.’”

And so it goes at many of the PCCA’s events, where cof­fee pro­fes­sion­als who belong to this West Coast based trade asso­ci­a­tion real­ize that good busi­ness means mak­ing good friends; where shar­ing mem­o­rable expe­ri­ences together cre­ates bonds of friend­ship that form the basis of solid and trust­ing work­ing rela­tion­ships; where, “Work Hard, Play Hard” is a motto to be lived, and to be shared. And hey, even if you don’t end up mak­ing the sale to your new­found friend, you’ve rafted the Deschutes!

To find out how much being a part of the PCCA can ben­e­fit you, your com­pany, and your good times, join us at this year’s con­ven­tion, Sept. 17–19, 2015, dur­ing the wine grape har­vest sea­son in California’s incom­pa­ra­ble Napa Valley.

John “johnny” Hornung is Vice President of Incasa Instant Soluble Coffee, the country’s longest run­ning whole­sale sol­u­ble cof­fee importer and dis­trib­u­tor. He lives in Berkeley, California, and is happy to be a part of the cof­fee world after years as a musi­cal event pro­ducer, pro­fes­sional sailor, and home builder. He is nom­i­nated to become the next President of the PCCA at the September, 2015 con­ven­tion, join­ing his father Jack Hornung, uncle Ernie Kahl, and cousin Steve Kahl in that role.

Connecting the Dots

Categories: 2015, AugustTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Every step along the path from the farmer to the cus­tomer is impor­tant. Some will claim that one might be more impor­tant than the oth­ers. While they ARE all impor­tant, one step is the most ‘trans­for­ma­tive’ and that is the roast­ing process. Roasting can add fla­vors and take them away. If you screw up roast­ing, the best barista can’t fix it.

Roasting pro­fes­sion­als make tons of choices when decid­ing what equip­ment to use as well as how to roast a par­tic­u­lar cof­fee. Often the sec­ond deci­sion influ­ences the first and vice versa. Let’s look at the key ques­tions and fac­tors in design­ing and imple­ment­ing a roast­ing plant.

First: What kind of roaster do you want to be when you grow up? Different vol­umes require dif­fer­ent choices.

Second: How do you plan to source cof­fee? If you are just buy­ing from local importers you will have a dif­fer­ent cup­ping room and QA depart­ment vs. those doing direct import­ing. This may include sam­ple roasting.

Third: Where will you locate? There are needs to have retail traf­fic for a roaster/retailer that may work against a com­pany pri­mar­ily dri­ven by whole­sal­ing cof­fee to oth­ers. What kind of roast­ing you can do (if any) will be deter­mined by the zon­ing depart­ments of your city and county.

Fourth: Are you the type to ‘feel’ the roast and trust the art or do you pre­fer computer-based accu­racy when match­ing profiles?

Fifth: Do you have the bud­get to do it right the first time or to grow when you need to? Many com­pa­nies get stuck once they have grown because they have long leases in facil­i­ties that no longer meet the needs of the business.

If you have the answers to these ques­tions, you can dive into the deci­sions about get­ting your roast­ery set up or expand­ing an exist­ing one. Here are some help­ful tips:

A)    Decide on how much con­trol you want. Temp read­ings, air flow, data log­ger, automa­tion and burner type.
B)    Factor in ser­vice record and oper­at­ing cost.
C)    Size your roaster for about 50% growth.
D)    Size in appro­pri­ate smoke abate­ment via after­burner, scrub­ber, cat­alytic con­verter, or recir­cu­la­tion. Other coun­tries use other inter­est­ing devices that may not work in the US.

Other plant equip­ment:
A)    Green cof­fee load­ers, de-stoners, clean­ers, and stor­age bins need to be sized to meet pro­duc­tion require­ments and should be eas­ily upgraded for future expan­sion.
B)    Conveyance sys­tems move cof­fee from load-in through the roaster and out to pack­ag­ing. Designing a flex­i­ble sys­tem that can grow with you is a good idea.
C)    Grinding equip­ment comes in dif­fer­ent forms and sizes. Pick a unit that can keep up with your pack­ag­ing line and not be the bot­tle­neck. Also plan for ground cof­fee stor­age prior to pack­ag­ing for a degassing period.
D)    Packaging can be as sim­ple as a bucket, scoop and a floor sealer all the way up to a fully auto­mated machine that requires little-to-no human inter­ac­tion. A good sys­tem will be scal­able and expand­able to han­dle mul­ti­ple pack­ag­ing sizes and have options like nitro­gen flush­ing, valve appli­ca­tion etc.

Lab Equipment:
A)    A sam­ple roaster can be a cru­cial tool for any roast­ing com­pany. It is a tool that assists in the pur­chas­ing and accep­tance of green cof­fee as well as a way to ini­ti­ate roast pro­files for cof­fees before head­ing to the pro­duc­tion roaster.
B)    Color read­ers help a roaster to be more pre­cise in their final prod­ucts color both inter­nal and exter­nal fin­ished color.
C)    Cupping record sys­tems bring a sense of his­tory as well as qual­ity con­trol for roast­ing com­pa­nies.  On the low end you put cup­ping notes in a paper file. On the high end you store elec­tronic data in the cloud and share infor­ma­tion with your pro­duc­tion part­ners in the cof­fee grow­ing regions.

Deciding on a space and lay­out of the plant can now be done once you made the deci­sions above. As with most busi­nesses, loca­tion is impor­tant. In a man­u­fac­tur­ing plant like a cof­fee roast­ing com­pany the func­tional lay­out of the space is cru­cial for reduced oper­a­tional costs, pur­chas­ing costs, and pro­duc­tion effi­cien­cies. This is true regard­less of size of your company.

Being the mid­dle of the sup­ply chain and being the most trans­for­ma­tive piece of the sys­tem means that it is impor­tant to choose equip­ment wisely. It is equally impor­tant to fac­tor in size of plant for growth and the loca­tion to put your business.

Cablevey Conveyors Enclosed Tubular Coated Cable & Disc Conveyors
by Cablevey Conveyors | 641.673.8451
No Metal Shavings! 1-Piece Discs for Easy-to-Keep-Clean Material Processing. Strong, Reliable Conveying Machines for over 40 Years – Over 30,000 Conveyors Installed! Cablevey Conveyors con­tin­u­ally demon­strates “best in class” con­vey­ors with the least amount of dam­age, spillage, for­eign mate­r­ial con­t­a­m­i­na­tion or oper­at­ing costs.
Cable & disc tech­nol­ogy gen­tly move prod­ucts through an enclosed tube with­out the use of air. Systems can con­vey up to 1240 cubic feet (35 cubic meters) per hour.


Infinity Roast™
by Buhler Inc | 905.754.8389
Buhler’s InfinityRoastTM cof­fee roaster is lead­ing the way into the future of cof­fee fla­vor cre­ation. The InfinityRoastTM  assists in cre­at­ing roast­ing pro­files for cus­tomized fla­vor char­ac­ter­is­tics and phys­i­cal bean prop­er­ties. The roaster is designed with vari­able air-to-bean ratios and sets supe­rior stan­dards for safety, reli­a­bil­ity and energy efficiency.


Shore’s New Model 935 Moisture Tester
by Shore Measuring Systems | 217.892.2544
The Shore Model 935 Moisture Tester pro­vides a com­mer­cial grade mois­ture tester for cof­fee, tea and cocoa. Easy to use, the Model 935 fea­tures an inte­grated scale and printer as well as a touch-screen dis­play. Moisture test­ing cal­i­bra­tions are included for a vari­ety of cof­fee, tea and cocoa bean commodities.


The UpShot Single-Serve Filters
by Lbp Manufacturing Inc. | 800.545.6200
The UpShot Solution is a line of Eco-friendly, single-serve fil­ters paired with a flex­i­ble pro­duc­tion model that allows roast­ers to take advan­tage of the boom­ing single-serve mar­ket. Made from 100% polypropy­lene, it is recy­clable and is com­pat­i­ble with Keurig® and other single-serve brewers.


The E20-CP Analyzer
by Agtron, Inc. | 775.850.4600
The E20-CP and the M-Basic II are the finest instru­ments avail­able designed specif­i­cally to address the spe­cial require­ments asso­ci­ated with eval­u­at­ing and quan­ti­fy­ing the roast of whole bean and ground coffee.


PLI-VALV one way degassing valves
by PLITEK | 847.827.6680
One-way degassing valves (often called fresh­ness valves, aroma valves, or cof­fee valves) are crit­i­cal to max­i­miz­ing coffee’s fresh­ness by allow­ing freshly roasted cof­fee to degas in its pack­ag­ing. PLITEK’s com­plete degassing solu­tions, PLI-VALV® one-way degassing valves and valve appli­ca­tors are the most effi­cient, reli­able, and cost effec­tive solu­tion for degassing freshly roasted cof­fee in its pack­ag­ing. For more infor­ma­tion con­tact:


FLEXI-DISC® Tubular Cable Conveyor
by Flexicon Corporation | 610.814.2400
FLEXI-DISC® Tubular Cable Conveyors gen­tly slide frag­ile green and roasted cof­fee through  stain­less steel tub­ing, using poly­mer discs on stain­less steel cable. The sys­tem can have sin­gle or mul­ti­ple inlets and out­lets, and con­vey over short or long dis­tances. Offered as stand-alone sys­tems or fully inte­grated with exist­ing equipment.


The Diedrich Family of Roasters – from 1 kilo and sam­ple roast­ers to 280 kilo roast­ers
by Diedrich Manufacturing, Inc | 208.263.1276
Diedrich Roasters, the only roaster made from the ground up in America, is the lead­ing craft roast­ing solu­tion for com­pa­nies demand­ing a cof­fee roaster that deliv­ers high qual­ity, respon­sive con­trol, clean taste, low fuel con­sump­tion, reli­able con­sis­tency, and arti­san sen­si­bil­i­ties from a proven and tested man­u­fac­tur­ing partner.


Nesco Home Coffee Bean Roaster
by The Metal Ware Corporation – Nesco | 800.624.2949
The Nesco Coffee Bean Roaster allows con­sumers to roast their own green beans con­trol­ling the roast dark­ness and time.  Designed for in home use, with a cat­alytic con­ver­tor to absorb odors,  this qual­ity built, func­tional unit is a great addi­tion to Coffee retailer’s prod­uct portfolios.


US Roaster Corp
by US Roaster Corp | 405.232.1223
US Roaster Corp pro­vides a full line of ser­vices to the Industry.
Award win­ning High Efficiency roast­ers with low­est emis­sions and our Millennium mod­els for every need.  Special mod­els For Cacao and expe­ri­ence in roast­ing and grind­ing. Consulting and train­ing for start up to com­plete plants. New Grinders, Rebuilt Equipment.


33 Cups of Coffee
by 33 Books Co. | 503.888.3532
33 Coffees is a cof­fee jour­nal that pro­vides an easy way to quickly record cof­fee tast­ing notes in a small, con­ve­nient note­book for­mat. It’s per­fect for cof­fee novices and pros alike. The fla­vor wheel included in 33 Coffees lets you record a coffee’s fla­vor in a unique, visual format.


Unbiased Scientific Analysis of Coffee Products
by Coffee Analysts | 800.375.3398
The true mea­sure of any cof­fee pro­gram is the bev­er­age qual­ity: how does is taste?  Branding, pro­mo­tion, and mer­chan­dis­ing will cap­ture the first sale, but only qual­ity will keep your cus­tomers return­ing time after time. We do not sell cof­fee: we test cof­fee.  Our team spe­cial­izes in the eval­u­a­tion and improve­ment of cof­fee pro­grams through­out the global cof­fee sup­ply chain.


Loring Roasters–S15, S35, S70
by Loring Smart Roast | 707.526.7215
Highly con­sis­tent roast­ing regard­less of weather and pre­ci­sion con­trols to guide the roast enable roast­mas­ters to cre­ate & repro­duce excep­tional roasts at any time. Sustainable tech­nol­ogy built into the roast­ing sys­tem for smoke abate­ment can save up to 80% in fuel costs over roast­ers that require an afterburner.


Flavors of all types for the bev­er­age indus­try
by Beck Flavors | 314.878.7522
Beck Flavors is ded­i­cated to pro­vid­ing our cus­tomers supe­rior inno­va­tion, high qual­ity fla­vors and world-class cus­tomer ser­vice and sup­port. We con­tinue to cre­ate a range of fla­vors for your bev­er­age fla­vor needs. Our expe­ri­enced inno­va­tion staff and low min­i­mum order quan­ti­ties are just a few rea­sons to call us today!


Xeltron’s XR-Q model for Roasted Coffee
by Xeltron S.A. | +506.2279.5777
Xeltron is with with you from the green to the roasted bean process. Our lat­est model will help you increase your yield even on the final process of roasted cof­fee by achiev­ing a uni­form appear­ance and con­sis­tent qual­ity. Offer your clients the best look­ing roasted cof­fee on the market.

Roaster Resources

Categories: 2015, AugustTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

In Defense of the Middle Man
We hear it all the time in almost every indus­try:
“Remove the mid­dle man; make your busi­ness more effi­cient and increase your profits.”

That’s not an unfair state­ment in most indus­tries. However, the cof­fee indus­try has cre­ated a unique list of issues for the importer, just like it has for the pro­ducer and the retailer on either end. Coming from a barista and third-wave café man­ager back­ground, I always viewed the rela­tion­ship with the farmer to be para­mount. I imag­ined myself going to the farms and exchang­ing hand­shakes and laugh­ter for jute bags full of green cof­fee. This—much to my chagrin—is just not a real­is­tic rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the life of the aver­age roaster. I know; I’m as dis­ap­pointed as you are.

For the small to mid­size roaster, han­dling the logis­tics of inter­na­tional freight is a daunt­ing enough propo­si­tion, but when you add in the exor­bi­tant cost per pound asso­ci­ated with ship­ping any­thing less than a full (~37,500lb) con­tainer, the nav­i­ga­tion of gov­ern­men­tal restric­tions, the idea of tying up tens of thou­sands of dol­lars months before you might receive the cof­fee, and the years and patience it takes to build a rela­tion­ship with a pro­ducer, it quickly becomes unsus­tain­able to pop­u­late your menu with directly-sourced cof­fee. The time and costs you incur grossly out­weigh the cost of work­ing with an importer.

Probably the most time-consuming—yet most rewarding—aspects of devel­op­ing farm con­nec­tions are the rela­tion­ships. These rela­tion­ships are built on trust and mutual under­stand­ing, as well as a pas­sion and love for cof­fee. These farm­ers have, by far, the most work to do to make sure that what ends up in your cup is a beau­ti­ful start to your morn­ing. All things con­sid­ered, importers are going to spend a lot of time devel­op­ing rela­tion­ships, but they can only man­age so many. If a diverse list of unique cof­fees is what you’re look­ing for, a sin­gle source is prob­a­bly going to limit your abil­ity to accom­plish that. That may seem like a strange sug­ges­tion from an importer, but it’s just a real­ity. At Royal Coffee New York, we’re always look­ing for a way to ful­fill new needs as they arrive, and we do our best to have the right cof­fee for each type of person.

Familiarity with the cof­fee is another con­sid­er­a­tion. We spend a good chunk of time every day with cup­ping and qual­ity assur­ance. In any given week, we could cup between 50–100 dif­fer­ent cof­fees. This allows us to have a men­tal library of sim­i­lar­i­ties from which we can draw lines to sim­i­lar cof­fees in a way that some­one who only cups occa­sion­ally, or only a cou­ple cof­fees at a time, wouldn’t be able to. The beauty is we can’t do every­thing; no one can.

With the chain of cof­fee, every link needs to be strong, or it all falls apart. We’re proud to be able to be a part of that.

By Dave Planer, Marketing Director of Royal Coffee New York, Inc.

Dutch Bros. Strives to Provide Strength, Hope, Joy, and Support

Categories: 2015Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Since the doors first opened in 1992, Dutch Bros. Coffee has strived to have a pos­i­tive impact on their com­mu­nity. As the com­pany grew, it enabled larger dona­tions and aware­ness, which lead to greater com­mu­nity impact.

There are many orga­ni­za­tions in which Dutch Bros. is involved. Organizations who share the same val­ues as the com­pany, as well as pos­i­tively impact­ing one or more of the fol­low­ing pil­lars: youth, music, health, and com­pelling future.

Whether pro­ceeds days are company-wide or locally run, all have an impact on the com­mu­ni­ties Dutch Bros. serves. When one takes a look at past events, health is an area the com­pany has invested in heav­ily and will con­tinue to con­tribute to because it affects mem­bers of the Dutch Bros. fam­ily and the com­mu­nity so directly.

Drink One for Dane
DrinkOneForDaneA com­pany wide event, known as Drink One for Dane, raises money and aware­ness for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, MDA. This event is held every year on the first Friday in May, in honor of late Co-founder Dane Boersma.

Dane was diag­nosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, ALS – bet­ter known as Lou Gehrig dis­ease – in 2006. The incur­able dis­ease, which affects the parts of the ner­vous sys­tem that con­trol vol­un­tary mus­cle move­ment, claimed his life in 2009.

Over the past nine years, Dutch Bros. has donated nearly $1.8 mil­lion to fur­ther ALS research, cre­ate aware­ness and pro­vide ser­vices to fam­i­lies affected by this dis­ease. The money Dutch Bros. raises allows MDA to con­tinue fund­ing research to develop treat­ments for the dis­ease that con­tin­ues to dev­as­tate the lives of many.

This day began as a way to honor Dane and his legacy. It con­tin­ues due to the love and sup­port of the com­mu­nity, and cel­e­brates Dane and all who have or are suf­fer­ing from this dis­ease. Drink One for Dane remains a way to raise aware­ness for ALS and honor a great man whose strength and wis­dom are still seen at Dutch Bros. everyday.

We are inspired by the out­pour­ing of sup­port from local Dutch Bros. stands and all of their cus­tomers on Drink One for Dane Day,” said Oregon MDA, Executive Director, Amy Ward. “Dane con­tin­ues to make a last­ing impact by pro­vid­ing help and hope to those bat­tling ALS.”

Dutch Bros. takes pride in con­tribut­ing to research devel­op­ment and fam­ily ser­vices for those who are affected by var­i­ous dis­eases. Many Dutch Bros. loca­tions par­tic­i­pate in pro­ceeds days, which allow Dutch Bros. to donate to local chap­ters of orga­ni­za­tions, and also cre­ate aware­ness and com­mu­nity involvement.

Breast Cancer Awareness
Breast Cancer Mug 2015Dutch Bros. has no prob­lem “fight­ing like a girl,” and work­ing toward early detec­tion and a cure for breast can­cer. The “Be Aware” mug was cre­ated in order to spread aware­ness and sup­port Breast Cancer research dur­ing the month of October.

Partnering with the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in 2014 & 2015, Dutch Bros. donates $5.00 from the sale of each “Be Aware” mug to raise funds for Knight Cancer Institute and their research. To date this part­ner­ship has gen­er­ated nearly $500,000, which is matched dol­lar for dol­lar by Phil and Penny Knight.

We are deeply grate­ful to Dutch Bros., all of their cus­tomers and employ­ees for sup­port­ing the Knight Cancer Challenge and the sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion their efforts will make in advanc­ing breast can­cer research,” said Lisa Coussens, Ph.D., asso­ciate direc­tor of basic research at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. “These funds will help us pur­sue the most promis­ing research more quickly and, ulti­mately, bring new hope to breast can­cer patients.”

Breast can­cer is a dis­ease that has impacted many peo­ple within the Dutch fam­ily and in the com­mu­ni­ties they serve. Dutch Bros. is for­tu­nate enough, with the help of their cus­tomers, to be able to sup­port research and facil­i­ties that improve can­cer iden­ti­fi­ca­tion meth­ods and the devel­op­ment of new can­cer treatments.

Make-A-Wish is a foun­da­tion to which many fran­chis­ers donate. Kids are the heart of so much of what Dutch Bros. does daily and Make-a-Wish is a per­fect part­ner­ship. Working with local chap­ters, fran­chisee dona­tions go towards grant­ing wishes of local chil­dren bat­tling life-threatening conditions.

The wishes that Make-A-Wish grants can be game chang­ing, and pro­vide hope and strength for the child. These wishes change the lives of not only the child who received the wish, but the lives of every­one who was involved in mak­ing the wish a reality.

We are hum­bled by the gen­eros­ity of Dutch Bros. and the com­mu­nity,” said Laila Cook, Make-A-Wish Oregon CEO. “This dona­tion will make wishes come true for so many kids in our com­mu­nity and will impact our abil­ity to grant a wish for every eli­gi­ble local child – bring­ing joy to them at a time when they need it most. “

Over the years, Dutch Bros. has been involved with many wishes: whether it is donat­ing funds to grant wishes or show­ing up, in full Dutch Bros. force, to sup­port the child’s wish, Dutch Bros. is there to help pro­vide joy.

Drink One for Dane, our Partnerships with the Knight Cancer Institute and with Make-A-Make are just a few ways Dutch Bros. is able to sup­port and impact com­mu­ni­ties. Dutch Bros. is always look­ing to ways to sup­port the con­tin­ued research and treat­ments, as well as par­tic­i­pate in events that cre­ate aware­ness and funds to sup­port ser­vices and research. Whether it is company-wide events or indi­vid­ual fran­chisees hold­ing pro­ceeds days – Dutch Bros. strives to pro­vide strength, hope, joy, and sup­port to those who are affected.

Dutch Bros. might sell cof­fee, but they are in the busi­ness of rela­tion­ships and pos­i­tively impact­ing the com­mu­ni­ties and peo­ple that mean the world to them.

Scholarships in Nicaragua

Categories: 2015, JulyTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Project Description
Three year stu­dent schol­ar­ship in Nicaragua at La Bastille Technical Agricultural School in Jinotega, Nicaragua

Cup for Education pro­vides edu­ca­tional infra­struc­tures, mate­ri­als, and resources to cof­fee grow­ing com­mu­ni­ties. Through var­i­ous part­ner­ships with local lead­ers, edu­ca­tors, and orga­ni­za­tions, Cup for Education seeks to improve the over­all well-being of cof­fee farm­ers and their chil­dren through edu­ca­tion. We believe edu­ca­tion is the foun­da­tion for a bet­ter and brighter future for all the chil­dren in cof­fee com­mu­ni­ties around the world.

Local, well-supplied, edu­ca­tional facil­i­ties are absolutely cru­cial to rural cof­fee com­mu­ni­ties. The time and money needed to travel to nearby towns and larger cities in order to learn are sim­ply unavail­able, and poor infra­struc­ture in many of these remote areas make it very dif­fi­cult to do so. When edu­ca­tion is not eas­ily accessed, it leads to frus­tra­tion and a con­tin­ued cycle of illit­er­acy. When edu­ca­tion is close to home, both farm­ers and their chil­dren ben­e­fit eco­nom­i­cally and socially. Since 2003, Cup for Education has com­pleted a series of diverse projects that tar­get each community’s spe­cific needs. Whether it is build­ing latrines in Kenya, sup­port­ing women’s lit­er­acy projects in Papua New Guinea, pro­vid­ing new desks for chil­dren in Nicaragua, or pro­vid­ing mate­ri­als and fund­ing for library sup­port in var­i­ous parts of Guatemala to pro­mote read­ing and lit­er­acy; Cup for Education val­ues all aspects of the edu­ca­tional expe­ri­ence and aims to improve what­ever the com­mu­nity feels is most urgent or necessary.

One of our most recent suc­cess sto­ries is Juana Rosa, from Nicaragua. Juana was cho­sen to receive a three-year long schol­ar­ship to attend the La Bastille Technical Agricultural School in Jinotega, Nicaragua. This school is based on a cof­fee estate, in an area where only 20% of young peo­ple cur­rently attend sec­ondary school. Along with pro­vid­ing an aca­d­e­mic edu­ca­tion, the school also teaches a tech­ni­cal diploma in agro-business and runs seven school busi­nesses. The busi­nesses include chicken and egg pro­duc­tion, as well as a dairy plant, pigs, a veg­etable gar­den, and an Ecolodge & restau­rant where it is pos­si­ble to hike and bird­watch. Graduates from the school leave with an edu­ca­tion, job offers, and finan­cial skills to sup­port their fam­i­lies. The schol­ar­ship money paid for her tuition, books, and dor­mi­tory expenses. We are proud to say that Juana was one of the top stu­dents in her class, mak­ing a speech at the grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony. Upon grad­u­a­tion this past December 2014, Juana received a job work­ing in Costa Rica for Coffee Source, renown cof­fee grow­ers and now importers/exporters for the past 15 years. One of her first respon­si­bil­i­ties was work­ing as a cup­ping assis­tant at the Costa Rican Cup of Excellence.

Furthermore, Cup has already selected another wor­thy stu­dent from the region to receive a schol­ar­ship to the school for the next three years. The stu­dent was selected from among a list of many wor­thy can­di­dates from the cof­fee area in Jinotega, and it is our hope to be able to sup­port more than one stu­dent some­day. The school is one of the best oppor­tu­ni­ties for these chil­dren in the cof­fee regions of Nicaragua to achieve skills and edu­ca­tion that will allow them to break the cycle of poverty that is so preva­lent among cof­fee farmers.

Ultimately, Cup for Education strives to aug­ment the qual­ity of life and edu­ca­tion in coffee-growing regions. This begins with edu­ca­tion. Literate and well-educated chil­dren will improve their lives, those of their fam­i­lies, and ulti­mately, their coffees.

What You Can Do to Help
One of the best ways to help Cup for Education is to sign up for e-mail updates, “like” us on face book for the most up-to-date pic­tures from projects, and share our mis­sion with friends and fam­ily.  Of course, we wel­come dona­tions in the form of money or mate­ri­als.  Most of us involved with Cup for Education work in cof­fee and travel to these com­mu­ni­ties quite fre­quently through­out the year on busi­ness.  Often we bring books and school sup­plies for schools located in and around these com­mu­ni­ties.  We rec­om­mend these books be in Spanish, or bi-lingual.

Cup for Education

Project Contact:
Karen Gordon


3475 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island, NY 10314

Project URL:

Bridging Agricultural Communities to Sustainability in Nicaragua

Categories: 2015, JulyTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Project Description
In the rugged hills of rural Nicaragua, Agros International part­ners with agri­cul­tural fam­i­lies to build com­mu­ni­ties that empower them to change their lives. Agros helps peo­ple gain the exper­tise and expe­ri­ence they need to free them­selves from exploita­tion and grow thriv­ing agri­cul­tural busi­nesses by pro­vid­ing train­ing in busi­ness, agri­cul­ture, and finance, and pro­vid­ing access to hous­ing, health care, san­i­ta­tion and clean water.

We invest from day one in devel­op­ing lead­er­ship and own­er­ship among part­ner fam­i­lies with the inten­tion that in 8 to 10 years the com­mu­nity will be fully self-sustainable. Families are offered the trans­for­ma­tional oppor­tu­nity to become landown­ers, earn­ing the title to the land on which they live by pay­ing off a care­fully per­son­al­ized loan. Children who may have been sick due to lack of health care have access to doc­tors and edu­ca­tion. Mothers receive pre­na­tal care and nutri­tional train­ing. Subsistence farm­ing makes way for robust, market-driven crop production.

This year in Nicaragua, Agros launches our first regional project that bridges our tra­di­tional vil­lage model to regional impact in agri­cul­tural and health train­ing, san­i­ta­tion, and more. Over the esti­mated 8-year life of the project, we will work with approx­i­mately 800 fam­i­lies to strengthen agri­cul­tural knowl­edge and pro­duc­tion, fam­ily health and nutri­tion, and mar­ket knowl­edge and access. In 2015, we wel­comed the first 50 fam­i­lies onto the land where they will live and build their new farm­ing busi­nesses. Concurrently, we will also con­tinue our out­reach to regional fam­i­lies by pro­vid­ing train­ing in agri­cul­ture, nutri­tion, and health.

“I’ve always been a fighter,” says Rosario, a farmer and entre­pre­neur in Tierra Nueva, Nicaragua, and sin­gle mother of three.

Hard work is noth­ing new to Rosario, who began work­ing full-time in the fields as a day laborer with her father at age 17. Before mov­ing to Tierra Nueva, Rosario worked along­side men, har­vest­ing cof­fee and cut­ting weeds with a machete. It was a hard way to earn a liv­ing for her three children.

When the oppor­tu­nity arose to work with Agros, Rosario didn’t hes­i­tate. She imme­di­ately noticed that there were no stores in the com­mu­nity, so she decided to take a risk: she invested all of her sav­ings in a small store that she runs from her home.

The store is not Rosario’s only hope for the future. She is also invest­ing in future cof­fee har­vests. “I’m try­ing to fill my land with cof­fee plants,” she says, know­ing cof­fee often pro­duces a higher return than other tra­di­tional crops like corn and beans.

Like many part­ners in Tierra Nueva, Rosario would never have dared to try to plant cof­fee with­out the tech­ni­cal and phys­i­cal sup­port of Agros’ agri­cul­tural staff. “Agros has helped us a lot,” she says. “They have helped us with the mate­ri­als, helped us know how to have bet­ter har­vests. Through their tech­ni­cal sup­port, we have had bet­ter har­vests and more earnings.”

With Rosario, we invite you to join us on this incred­i­ble jour­ney of empow­er­ment and transformation.

Readers can help by
Tierras de Vida Annual Dinner: We invite indi­vid­u­als and cor­po­ra­tions to spon­sor a table at our annual fundrais­ing event, Tierras de Vida. Email us at to learn more or to become a sponsor.

Direct from the Field Updates and Webinars: We host quar­terly updates near our offices in Seattle, WA. For those not able to attend the events in per­son, we occa­sion­ally host a web-based update. To learn more or attend, email Claire at

One Seed Gift Catalog: Find mean­ing­ful gift ideas that help fam­i­lies in need, such as fluffy chicks or an acre of seed. We’ll send your loved one a per­son­al­ized card inform­ing them of your car­ing gift. One Seed gifts sup­port Agros’ work in Central America. Find your next gift at

Agros International’s work is made pos­si­ble through dona­tions from indi­vid­u­als, foun­da­tions, and cor­po­ra­tions who sup­port our mis­sion to end poverty. Visit us on the web: Find us on Facebook: Contact a Philanthropy Services Officer for a per­sonal intro­duc­tion:

Project Contact:
Christa Countryman



Project URL:

Nicaragua, Matagalpa Region

Project Impact:
Over the esti­mated 8-year life of the project, we will work with approx­i­mately 800 fam­i­lies (5,000 peo­ple) to strengthen agri­cul­tural knowl­edge and pro­duc­tion, fam­ily health and nutri­tion, and mar­ket knowl­edge and access.

Bolaven Farms Crop Share Training Program

Categories: 2015, JulyTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Project Description
Bolaven Farms is a fully inte­grated cof­fee busi­ness with a mis­sion of bet­ter­ing the lives of farm­ers on the Bolaven Plateau in south­ern Laos. Bolaven Farms pro­vides a two-year crop-share train­ing pro­gram to 33 agrar­ian fam­i­lies where farm­ers plot 7,500 cof­fee trees and receive on-the-job train­ing, plus a gen­er­ous crop-share of 36 per­cent. Following the com­ple­tion of their first year in the pro­gram, farm­ers buy land and qual­ify to stay on for a sec­ond year, ensur­ing cof­fee seedlings are planted dur­ing the wet season.

Bolaven Farms also serves as the unof­fi­cial coöper­a­tive proces­sor for cof­fee vil­lages. Instead of farm­ers dry­ing cof­fee cher­ries poorly, which results in aver­age tast­ing cof­fee, Bolaven Farms buys cof­fee cher­ries equiv­a­lent to green cof­fee price, essen­tially per­form­ing the task of pro­cess­ing cof­fee free of charge. Bolaven Farms also stands in as the exten­sion agron­o­mist for the vil­lages through­out the year to trans­fer tech­ni­cal know-how and train­ing in best farm­ing practices.

Bolaven Farms works with small­holder farm­ers, empow­er­ing their indi­vid­ual rights and pro­vid­ing a path­way to inde­pen­dence. The cof­fee com­pany firmly believes that farm­ers should be rewarded with dig­ni­fied and liv­ing pay­ments for their crops. Bolaven Farms, through its crop-share pro­gram and unique empow­er­ment model, intro­duces proven tech­nolo­gies to improve pro­duc­tiv­ity, eco­nom­ics and over­all well-being for the farm­ing communities.

Readers can help by
To learn more about Bolaven Farms, visit its web­site at Readers can help bol­ster the impact of its crop-share pro­gram by encour­ag­ing their favorite quick-serve restau­rant or fast, casual restau­rant to carry Bolaven Farms cof­fee. Restaurants can con­tact Bolaven Farms through its web­site or by email­ing

Project Contact:
Sam Say


(852) 2898 0398

Project URL:

Laos, Bolaven Plateau in south­ern Laos

Project Impact:
By sow­ing seeds of hope, Bolaven Farms pro­vides tan­gi­ble oppor­tu­nity for farm­ers through its crop-share train­ing pro­gram. Through the pro­gram, impov­er­ished farm­ers are pro­vided attain­able avenues to a bet­ter life. Meanwhile, the impact is seen in higher pro­duc­tiv­ity; improved cup qual­ity; and hope for a bet­ter, sus­tain­able future for the mem­bers of the farm­ing communities.

Brewing Change in Tea And Spice Growing Communities

Categories: 2015, JulyTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Project Description
When Margarita suf­fered the loss of her hus­band, she had four young chil­dren to pro­vide for and her sea­sonal car­damom crop wasn’t enough to keep her fam­ily afloat. Her fam­ily often didn’t have enough to eat, and they expe­ri­enced health issues as a result.

Margarita then heard about a pro­gram in her com­mu­nity in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, where she could learn about improv­ing her farm­ing skills. She joined and learned how to grow a wider vari­ety of crops and increase her pro­duc­tion. She has now become a suc­cess­ful busi­ness­woman, able to feed her fam­ily year-round and sell the sur­plus pro­duce for a profit. With her hard work and deter­mi­na­tion, she was able to edu­cate her four chil­dren who are now thriv­ing.  Margarita tells us, “I have become more empow­ered since the pro­gram came here. I have the oppor­tu­nity and right to learn, and to par­tic­i­pate in decision-making processes in my community.”

For more than ten years, Mercy Corps and Starbucks’ Tazo Tea have worked together to empower peo­ple like Margarita to trans­form their lives. Together we have reached more than 84,000 peo­ple in India and Guatemala who grow tea ingre­di­ents for a liv­ing with the resources they need to cre­ate last­ing change in their communities.

Many fam­i­lies in tea ori­gin com­mu­ni­ties have scarce access to health care, edu­ca­tion, or finan­cial and busi­ness oppor­tu­ni­ties. Seasonal crops only pro­vide income to fam­i­lies for part of the year, and dur­ing the off-season they often strug­gle to put food on the table or send their chil­dren to school.

As a part of their approach to eth­i­cal sourc­ing, Starbucks and Tazo have col­lab­o­rated with Mercy Corps to address these issues in a holis­tic way in Guatemala and India. By com­bin­ing health edu­ca­tion, busi­ness train­ing, and youth and women’s empow­er­ment pro­gram­ming, we are help­ing small com­mu­ni­ties move toward a brighter and more suc­cess­ful future. Now youth are learn­ing busi­ness and life skills, moth­ers have access to an emer­gency fund in case they need crit­i­cal care for them­selves or their fam­i­lies, and par­ents like Margarita are able to put food on the table year round and send their chil­dren to school.

Readers can help by
Mercy Corps is a lead­ing global human­i­tar­ian orga­ni­za­tion sav­ing and improv­ing lives in the world’s tough­est places. With a net­work of expe­ri­enced pro­fes­sion­als in more than 40 coun­tries, we part­ner with local com­mu­ni­ties to put bold ideas into action to help peo­ple recover, over­come hard­ship, and build bet­ter lives. We rely on the sup­port of indi­vid­u­als, foun­da­tions and cor­po­ra­tions to make our work in Guatemala, India, and in other cof­fee and tea grow­ing regions pos­si­ble. Visit to learn more about how you can get involved. You can also stay con­nected to our work by vis­it­ing and fol­low­ing us on Facebook , Instagram and Twitter.

Project Contact:
Jenny Keating


Project URL:

Guatemala, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala and Assam and Darjeeling, India

Project Impact:
84,000 peo­ple, and counting.

Earth’s Choice Women of Coffee Micro Finance

Categories: 2015, JulyTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Project Description
Fostering eco­nomic growth while ensur­ing nat­ural resource sta­bil­ity is our long-range goal.   Increasing women’s skills and mar­ket access can sta­bi­lize women’s income in cof­fee coun­tries that are neg­a­tively impacted by fluc­tu­at­ing world cof­fee prices, cli­mate change phe­nom­ena (floods, drought, etc.)  and pop­u­la­tion pres­sures.  Building women’s busi­nesses and pro­tect­ing their valu­able cof­fee forests ensures they do not have to aban­don their cof­fee farms for urban areas in search of low-paying work.

Based on the suc­cess­ful Grameen Bank “group loan” model, Earth’s Choice clients have turned their lives around. Group loans are 4 – 5 women of $200 to $1,000.  Earth’s Choice began fundrais­ing in 2012 and cre­ated its first two loan port­fo­lios in Guatemala & Mexico. In Guatemala, the women estab­lished prof­itable small busi­nesses includ­ing a gro­cery store, cloth­ing design shop, bak­ery, phar­macy, pig & poul­try farms, and a butcher shop. In Mexico they expanded their tex­tile fac­tory out­put to increase their exports. The default rate is a low 98%  and each port­fo­lio has grown from between 5 – 8%.  Currently there are pro­grams oper­at­ing in Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, and Colombia.

Earth’s Choice began its part­ner­ship with Rotary in 2012 and in 2014 signed an MOU with the International Women’s Coffee Alliance’s (IWCA) to begin loan pro­grams with their mem­ber chap­ters to develop micro­fi­nance pro­grams with IWCA’s 18 coun­try chapters.

Earth’s Choice’s trans­for­ma­tive solu­tion is to pro­vide:  afford­able loans, skill build­ing, and equi­table access to tech­nolo­gies and health ser­vices.  Understanding “cof­fee cup­ping” can be highly ben­e­fi­cial eco­nom­i­cally. Women typ­i­cally can­not afford “cup­ping” equip­ment or water fil­tra­tion devices to know about the true qual­ity of their cof­fee beans. By under­stand­ing their coffee’s qual­ity, they can price it real­is­ti­cally and this can pos­i­tively impact their income. Earth’s Choice has begun in-country part­ner­ships with local Rotary clubs and clin­ics to extend some vital health care ser­vices like mam­mo­grams and pap smears.

Women in the pro­gram have reported these spe­cific ben­e­fits:
•    Increased incomes,
•    Increased busi­ness skills & finan­cial lit­er­acy,
•    Access to and train­ing with new afford­able tech­nolo­gies: “cup­ping”  equip­ment,   water fil­ters, etc.
•    Access to vital health care ser­vices,
•    Increased under­stand­ing of the value of their cof­fee,
•    Better mar­ket access, prices for their cof­fee,
•    More income to buy food, clothes, and edu­cate their children.

Readers can help by
There are three ways you can help:
1)    Make indi­vid­ual or busi­ness dona­tions on  Paypal link:
2)    Donate pro­fes­sional ser­vices: writ­ing, edit­ing, pho­tog­ra­phy, videog­ra­phy, ITC ser­vices etc.
3)    Donate afford­able, low energy tech­nolo­gies: roaster ovens, water fil­tra­tion, solar bat­ter­ies, etc.

Project Contact:
Roberta Lauretti-Bernhard



Project URL:

Project Name:
Earth’s Choice Women of Coffee Microfinance

Guatemala, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico

Project Impact:
800 direct stake­hold­ers (women plus their families).

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