At this time of year, we start to anticipate the arrival of the first few samples of the Mexican and Central American harvest at our roastery. Each new crop varies a little from the previous year’s, and there’s always a flurry of activity as the roasters get acquainted with the new crop. We’ve been buying from many of the same cooperatives for many seasons so it’s like a reunion with old friends over the cupping table.
This year’s harvest has us feeling more than a little reflective as it marks the 20th anniversary since our very first container of coffee landed in the port of Los Angeles. Purchased by the non-profit Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), that container was the beginnings of Peace Coffee. (Read our history here.)
A lot has changed in the past two decades. When we first got started, coffee was a commodity that came with two choices, decaf or regular, and the farmers who grew it were stuck taking whatever the local trader offered for the product of their hard work. Over the years, the coffee market has changed dramatically, both domestically and globally.
Our work has evolved as well, as we’ve started roasting, opened coffee shops, and pioneered bicycle delivery in the Twin Cities. Yet our focus remains on our producer partners, on supporting their livelihoods and their organizations and last year we cemented that commitment in law, becoming one of the first Benefit Corporations incorporated in Minnesota. We’re continuing to look ahead to the coming decades, to ever stronger communities and better coffee here at home and around the globe, and we’re grateful to all the coffee drinkers, our loyal supporters—we’re honored to raise a mug with you!
We’ll be toasting our partners, our producers, and you all year long—look for special treats and fun things to do wherever you are on social media or in our newsletter.