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National Coffee Day In Tinley Park: Where To Get Your Joe Fix – Patch.com

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TINLEY PARK, IL — For many on the go in Tinley Park, drinking coffee is celebrated seven mornings a week.
But there’s a specific date that is specifically set to highlight one of the world’s most consumed beverages. National Coffee Day is Sept. 29 across the United States and falls on a Wednesday in 2021.
National Coffee Day gives java lovers in Tinley Park another reason to visit one of their local coffee shops.
In and near Tinley Park, local coffee shops include:
The exact origin of how Sept. 29 (or Oct. 1 in other countries) became National Coffee Day is cloudy, according to a NationalToday.com summary of the country’s long connection with the drink. It points to the 1773 Boston Tea Party as a key moment in U.S. history for when the country, quite literally, dumped tea for coffee.
When the people of the 13 colonies revolted against King George III’s hefty tea tax, “tea was out, and coffee was in,” the summary states.
The United States’ connection with coffee only became stronger in the years to follow. Brothers John and Charles Arbuckle started selling coffee to cowboys in the American West during the mid-1800s, and James Folger introduced the drink to gold miners in California before creating the J.A. Folger & Co. in 1872, according to NationalToday.com.
Other brands still around today, such as Maxwell House and Hills Brothers, eventually entered the coffee market. And Starbucks “changed everything” when it formed in Seattle in 1971, according to the summary.
The U.S. coffee shop market has now grown into a $45.4 billion industry, according to an account that cites the Allegra World Coffee Portal’s 2019 Project Café USA report.
A number of chain coffee shops are expected to offer deals for National Coffee Day, TheSpruceEats.com says.
Among them, Krispy Kreme will offer a free coffee and doughnut on the day, Dunkin’ Donuts a free medium hot or iced coffee with any purchase, and LaMar’s Donuts a free small cup of coffee.
Local 7-Eleven stores have also offered National Coffee Day deals, with any size coffees going for $1 while using the store’s smartphone app.
Starbucks also typically offers free samples or cups of coffee on Sept. 29, Coffeeaffection.com reported this year.
Chain coffee shops in and near Tinley Park include:

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Blue Bottle Coffee Commits To Carbon Neutrality By 2024 – PRNewswire

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OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Blue Bottle Coffee announced today its commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2024. This extends to the entire brand, in the United States and Asia, and from coffee and ingredient sourcing to guest-use and end-of-life greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for product and packaging. Blue Bottle will attain carbon neutrality for its GHG emissions first by reducing as much as possible—including through work with coffee producers to sustain and expand regenerative agricultural practices—then by supporting carbon removal and high-quality offsetting projects for unabated GHG emissions.
Today’s announcement represents a significant next step towards the brand’s long-term sustainability goals of leading the food service industry in the boldest, most comprehensive waste and GHG emissions reduction movement.
Blue Bottle Coffee announced today its commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2024.
This year, the company focused efforts to reduce GHG emissions across four key areas: coffee sourcing, electricity, dairy, and waste. The company also committed to help scale regenerative agriculture as part of its 2024 carbon neutrality target. Blue Bottle made a multi-year commitment to purchase the first available high-quality, registry-certified agricultural carbon credits. Produced by Carbon by Indigo, these credits support U.S. farmers transitioning from conventional practices toward more beneficial agriculture.
In 2022 the company will publish its accelerated roadmap to achieving carbon neutrality by 2024.
"Since our founding in 2002, sustainability has been a core value at Blue Bottle. Sustainability for us means caring for people and planet," said Karl Strovink, CEO of Blue Bottle Coffee. "We are steadfast in providing guests with the highest quality coffee and cafe experience without the need to compromise on our values."
In 2020, Blue Bottle held true to the commitment of compensating for the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with its e-commerce business on orders shipped throughout the United States. 
This next major milestone of carbon neutrality by 2024 will involve fundamental changes to Blue Bottle’s business operations and partnerships with suppliers. During the past year, Blue Bottle has taken the following actions:
"We invite guests to join us in forging positive change—from wasting less and reusing more to adopting new product offerings with lower environmental footprints—we are committed to accelerating progress but cannot do this alone," said Strovink. "We hope our guests will join us in taking bold steps on climate action, one cup of coffee and one day at a time."
For more information on Blue Bottle’s sustainability efforts, please visit https://blog.bluebottlecoffee.com/sustainability. The full report on Blue Bottle’s carbon neutrality commitment can be found here. A case study prepared by 3Degrees of Blue Bottle’s methods to identify highest-impact emissions categories and prioritize action ahead of a full Life Cycle Assessment can be found here. A press kit of additional supporting assets can be accessed here.
About Blue Bottle
Blue Bottle Coffee was founded by James Freeman in Oakland, California, in 2002 with a simple yet revolutionary idea: to serve delicious coffee, roasted fresh and brewed to order, sourced from the finest, most sustainable coffee farms. Today, Blue Bottle is a global network of cafes in the US and Asia. We are the leader in specialty coffee, driven by our obsession for quality and our commitment to environmental health. Our belief is simple and our goal unchanged: to connect the world to delicious coffee, because delicious coffee makes life more beautiful. Follow Blue Bottle on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or visit bluebottlecoffee.com for more information.
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Go 419 Spirits | Toledo Spirits and Black Kite team up to produce a new liqueur – WTOL

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TOLEDO, Ohio — Whether you like liquor or are more of a beer person, Toledo Spirits has you covered. Grab a cocktail at Bellwether on the main floor or head downstairs and try the variety of craft beers from the Heavy Beer Company.
Founders Andrew Newby and Dustin Wade shared some behind-the-scenes of the distilling process. One of the newer products in the Toledo Spirits line is Black Kite Coffee Liqueur. 
“Just three ingredients: coffee, rum and sugar. The coffee and rum are made right here on site. The sugar is all 100% cane sugar; some white (and) some brown. It has a nice pleasant sweetness to it. A great big rich coffee and you can definitely tell there is some rum in there,” Andrew said.
In addition to the simple ingredients, Toledo Spirits teamed up with two other local businesses to create Black Kite Coffee Liqueur. Andrew shared the new product is “the perfect collaboration of our ingredients and the cold brew process over at Black Kite coffee. We also work with Flying Rhino. It’s a great collaboration between three great Toledo institutions providing a fantastic, very drinkable spirit.”
The coffee liqueur has a forward coffee taste and finishes with a warm sweetness. In addition to the new liqueur, Andrew and Dustin shared the creative process behind their East Side Gin. 
Dustin shared his opinion on gin being a polarizing spirit based on others’ reactions to it. He mentioned how people either love the liquor or hate it and there is almost no in-between.
“We really have probably spent the most time with this because we tried tincture methods where we were distilling individual ingredients and then blending them together. And then we ended up settling, actually after about 100 test batches, on East Side Gin,” Dustin said.
Most of Toledo Spirits’ product development is a two-year cycle and begins with a brainstorming session. The team decides on a combination of ingredients that are both true to the brand and make the liquor stand out. After brainstorming, the distilling process begins and is followed by many taste test trials. By the end of the cycle, a Toledo Spirit is born. East Side Gin took about the whole two years to develop due to the many ingredients and processes that can be used to produce the product.
“Gin is really juniper flavored vodka. So you are starting off with a base spirit, a really good vodka, and then once you add juniper to it, it’s gin … and whatever you do after that it’s kind of open,” Andrew said.
Dustin further explained the two styles used to distill gin. The first being a pot-styled gin, where all the ingredients are boiled together in the kettle. The second is a carter head style, which is where the ingredients are put in a vapor trail. For their East Side Gin, Dustin said they came up with a combination of the two.
Starting out their partnership in the technology industry, Andrew and Dustin found their true passion when they established Toledo Spirits in 2013. Located in the Historic Vistula District, also known as Lowertown, Toledo Spirits is influencing the Glass City one cocktail at a time.
Although Toledo Spirits carefully and intentionally crafts each spirit, there is one thing that stands out most – their dedication to local.
“Really tying in that sort of farm to glass concept so you’re bringing some of those local farmers and local producers into the product,” Dustin said.
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Q&A: Fair Trade USA addresses opportunities in beverage – Store Brands Magazine

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Fair Trade USA has been an important partner to retailers, private brands and consumer brands in sustainable production since 1998. The organization’s roots are in the coffee space, when Paul Rice, the eventual founder of the organization, spent 11 years in Nicaragua working with coffee farmers to sell coffee on fair trade terms. Over that span, he ended up working with more than 3,000 families, enabling coffee farmers to invest in homes, electricity and running water through fair trade practices. He returned to the United States and launched Fair Trade USA.
The organization has expanded into areas beyond coffee since then, including a first program within dairy. Molly Renaldo, who worked directly on this program, is sitting on the dairy panel at the Store Brands Industry Forum on Beverages on Sept. 29.
Renaldo works alongside Abby Ayers, head of retail and factory partnerships, Fair Trade USA, who sat down with Store Brands ahead of the forum on beverages to discuss trends in coffee, dairy and private brand beverages as the industry looks to become leaders in sourcing.
To register and attend the Store Brands Industry Forum on Beverages, visit here, and join attendees networking during 10-minute breaks and getting together around four, 30-minute virtual panels dedicated to beverages.
Ayers told Store Brands that the success the company has had in coffee inspired work across apparel, home goods, fisheries and more. Here’s more of an edited conversation with Store Brands looking at the beverage category:
Store Brands: Since the organization is founded in coffee, what’s new in the area?
Abby Ayers: We’re proud to see so much growth recently in private label and roasters converting or expanding their fair trade lineups.With 48% of new coffee launches making a sustainability claim, it has never been more important for retailers and brands to demonstrate ethics to shoppers. Furthermore, at-home coffee brewing is cemented as a habit for U.S. coffee drinkers. This demand for authenticity, combined with innovation in packaged coffee has led to an uptick in Fair Trade Certification, an ethical label that more than 63% of U.S. consumers recognize and trust.
Store Brands: It sounds like private brands are driving this trend?
AA: The growth comes from major retailers and businesses offering private label coffee, demonstrating that responsibly sourced coffee can be both scalable for businesses and accessible to consumers. Many of them align their goals in the Sustainable Coffee Changes with fair trade, which is a testament to the holistic nature of our certification in helping companies meet ESG goals and deliver impact to farmers/producers. 
These are a few noteworthy highlights:
Companies made major strides in transparency beyond the Sustainable Coffee Challenge as well. CVS became the first-ever drugstore to carry 100% Fair Trade Certified products in its exclusive store brand. Gold Emblem, the retailer’s exclusive grocery brand, now offers nine Fair Trade Certified coffee products in a variety of blends and roasts. They have spent the last six months celebrating this with customers in store with signage, promotions and even shippers.
SB: I know Molly will address this more during the Store Brands Industry Forum on Beverages but briefly describe the new program with Chobani.
AA: Fair Trade USA and Chobani have launched a groundbreaking certification program for U.S. dairy farms and cooperatives that provides financial premiums to dairy farmers and workers, which will help protect and empower them while raising sustainability standards. 
The announcement is an outgrowth of Fair Trade USA’s partnership with Chobani, which announced its Milk Matters program in 2019 to further its commitment to support economic, environmental and social standards throughout the company’s milk supply chain. The fair trade certification program is available to milk producers throughout the U.S.
Fair Trade Certification provides farm owners and cooperatives with an opportunity to differentiate, increase engagement with consumers and receive a financial premium for their investments. Certification also provides greater support for farm workers in an industry that can face challenges in workforce availability, working hours and farm safety. An immigrant workforce, which makes up an estimated half of the U.S. dairy workforce and is especially vulnerable to these issues because of limited legal protections, will also benefit from Fair Trade USA’s new dairy program. In collaboration with experts and organizations already working in the space, Fair Trade USA plans to develop an environmental component to this program which will address the unique challenges of the dairy industry. 
SB: And how can private brands address get involved in this segment?
AA: The dairy program is now open to all private brands in this space. Fair Trade USA certifies raw milk at the source and can therefore be a certification for fluid milk or any value-added dairy based product. The program is open to all supply chain structures, from cooperative to direct, organic or conventional.
Private brands can join this innovative initiative by contacting Fair Trade USA to start scoping the impact for farmers and workers in their supply chains. Together we can understand your market goals and current structure to start the conversation with your suppliers and manufacturers.
SB: What beverage categories could use more private brand involvement, and what are the challenges holding back retailers?
AA: Beverage was the second fastest growing category (behind frozen foods), gaining over 10%, year over year. Retailers have really stepped up to the challenge of supporting the industry-wide initiative to make coffee the first 100% sustainable commodity — converting their pods, instant and bagged lines. There is still an opportunity in coffee for refrigerated and RTD.  Other sub-categories we are seeing big gains in beverage, according to IRI, are cocktail mixes, energy, sports drinks, carbonated soft drinks and refrigerated juice — all that could use Fair Trade Certified Cane Sugar. 
Some challenges with these sub-categories tend to be they are often on pricing programs, making it hard to compete with national brands and they are competing with brands with strong brand awareness and following. As retailers continue to consolidate SKUs to offer the most productive items and reduce assortment, it will be important for retailers to find ways to differentiate from their national brand competitors and to get in front of more customers. Fair Trade is a great way to kill both of those birds with one stone.

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Local coffee shops prep for fall | Business | newspressnow.com – News-Press Now

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Partly cloudy. Slight chance of a rain shower. High 74F. Winds NNW at 15 to 25 mph..
Clear skies. Low 44F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph.
Updated: September 21, 2021 @ 2:12 pm
Staff at Pronto Cafe, located at 2513 Frederick Ave., see a spike in demand for certain items during the fall season. 

Staff at Pronto Cafe, located at 2513 Frederick Ave., see a spike in demand for certain items during the fall season. 
As cool and breezy fall weather inches closer by the day, the growing demand for warm beverages and snacks gains traction. 
Local cafes and coffee shops around St. Joseph are noticing the spike in customer demand when it comes to certain items around the start of the autumn season. 
Nancy McCormack, general manager for Pronto Cafe, said some items are a fall mainstay. 
“You have to get in the pumpkin spice. Everybody wants that,” McCormack said. “We get tons of requests for that in the fall, and it’s one of the first things on the menu.” 
On top of mainstay seasonal items like pumpkin spice flavoring, McCormack said she notices a trend of demand for homemade foods and snacks as well. 
“You get more requests for our homemade soups in the fall,” McCormack said. “We’re getting ready to roll those out and get started on our homemade chicken noodle.”
With the start of cooler weather, the trend grows for hot drinks, moving away from the iced drinks that are popular in the summer. 
“We make great hot chocolate,” McCormack said. “As soon as the weather gets cooler, we notice people want more of that hot chocolate, so we make sure to get started on that.” 
According to the National Coffee Association, during the fall and winter months, there is a 23% increase in coffee consumption, with the average adult drinking at least one cup of coffee throughout a day. 
As the demand grows for hot drinks and cozy food for local St. Joseph cafes and coffee shops, they are sure to be a target of the heightened consumption the season brings. 
“We see a lot of people start coming inside rather than using the outside patio,” McCormack said. “We also make sure to order those extra coffee beans to keep everything stocked up.”
Reed Gregory can be reached at [email protected]
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10 Can’t-Go-Wrong Gifts For Coffee-Obsessives – Yahoo Lifestyle

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Listen, we know we just got to fall, but it’s never too early to start thinking ahead to the holiday season. By this we mean, buy all the gifts you might possibly need before holiday prices start kicking in (aka, going up). We know how hard it is to find a special gift for someone you love and care about, so this year we’re going a bit more niche with our line of thinking.
It’s our belief that the best people are coffee lovers. Is this because we are coffee lovers? Yes. No further explanation needed. So, we’re kicking off this gift guide season with a post dedicated to our fellow caffeine obsessives. But, hey, if you’re a tea lover shopping for a coffee expert, you’re welcome here, too.
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We found goodies that can turn your kitchen into a barista’s heaven, travel essentials that will make commutes and camping trips much easier (and more energized), and even a few coffee organizers to spruce your place up a bit. Because let’s be honest, sometimes a coffee routine can get messy.
Click here to read the full article.
Below, check out 10 gift ideas that any coffee lover will, well, love. If anything, these products will awaken your mind (get it?) to even more gift ideas out there.
Our mission at STYLECASTER is to bring style to the people, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.
Slow coffee drinkers, you need this. Hot coffee drinkers, you need this. Heck, even tea lovers, you need this. The simple contraption keeps your mugs warm after you place them on top. It’s so easy, a non-caffeinated caveman could do it.


Mr. Coffee Mug Warmer $10.99



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Make perfect latte art at home using this game-changing frothing pen gift set. It comes with 10 stencils that allow you to expertly top your coffee with hearts, smiley faces, and so many other cute options.


Wolfgang Puck Frothing Pens Gift Set $25.95



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Lattes at home never taste quite like the ones you buy from coffee shops. That is, when you don’t use a professional-quality milk frother to spruce things up. Get the perfect level of rich foam every time you use this. It heats up to one cup of coffee at a time and has an automatic shut-off, so you won’t be burning or curdling any dairy.


Bodum Bistro Electric Milk Frother $30.46



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This Kourtney Kardashian-approved mushroom (yes, mushroom) and cacao latte kit just got a holiday facelift. Now, instead of just shopping the signature Chagaccino blend, you can get a bundle of it—plus a milk frother, glass, and reusable straw—for just $50. It’ll ensure a delicious sip of superfood every day. What’s not to get behind?


Chagaccino Holiday Gift Bundle $49.99



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This airtight canister will keep your favorite beans fresher for much, much longer than you’re used to. Reviewers say it prevents beans from becoming bitter and dull. Plus, it comes in five unique color options, including copper and green.


Veken Coffee Canister $24.99



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With this subscription, you’ll never go without coffee in your house again. The process is simple: First, choose how much coffee you want to receive in each package. Then, you get to select the frequency it’s delivered, the roast, and the grind type. Who knew coffee could be this personalized?


Atlas Coffee Club Subscription $28



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This compact version of the cult-favorite AeroPress is ideal for commuters and campers alike. It allows you to blend up your favorite brew on the go. Not to mention, it makes coffee or espresso in under a minute. Now that’s convenience.


AeroPress Go Portable Travel Coffee… $31.95



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If you have a gym-rat friend who doubles as a coffee lover, then this one is for them. It combines two things they love—protein and coffee—into one delicious drink. The brand’s creamers have zero sugar and up to 10 mg of protein. Choose from pumpkin, mocha, hazelnut, and vanilla to flavor-up your cup of Joe.


Super Coffee $27.99



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The 100-percent bamboo mug holder makes organization look chic—and gives you a chance to use your fav mugs as decor pieces. Place it on your kitchen island, countertop, or coffee bar for easy access.


Bamboo Mug Holder Tree $13.66



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Finally, a strategy to conceal your K-Cups without taking up even more of your precious counter space. This drawer slides underneath your coffee device and adds room for you to place everything from coffee pods to tea bags.


DecoBros K-cup Storage $21.97



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From traditional to new school, light up their holiday with these unique Diwali gift ideas.
Family, friends, coworkers, your partner—chances are, you’ve got quite a few people on your list to shop for this holiday season. Luckily, there are plenty of inexpensive options that can be just as well received. The best Christmas gifts are those that are affordable, useful, and clever.
These holiday gifts will feed their stomachs and their souls.
Coffee isn't just for the morning.
Show them your appreciation with more than just a gift card.
Luckily for us, the Internet makes it easier than ever to find gifts that are fun, thoughtful, and accessible for seniors and older adults. Below are 50 of the best gifts for seniors, complete with dozens of gift options that also make staying connected with our older relatives easy, even in the time of social distancing.
Whether you’re looking to say thank you , celebrate something major or just show someone you’re thinking of them, why not give them something that literally…
You might as well be the Grinch if you go through the holidays without watching one of these films.
Face it: Holiday shopping always costs way more than you anticipate. There's inevitably one person (or two, or three… ) who you forgot to add to your holiday shopping list. There are killer gift options out there that will only take a small chunk out of your holiday budget.
If you're getting a head start on holiday shopping, you really can't go wrong with something cozy and perfect for the colder months. Featuring ultra-soft robes, cuddle-worthy throws, comfy yet elevated pajamas, and so much more, Nordstrom has a whole section dedicated to cozy gifts, and we're here for it all! We rounded up the best cozy gifts that will pamper them from head to toe, including candles that will set the ambiance and loungewear they'll wear all the time.
Trust us when we say they're purrrfect.
Care packages are crucial, people.
I already have about 10 in my cart.
It appears nothing has changed for Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley), who’s returning to Netflix for You season three .The streaming service just…
Here's our trick from the pros: Double-sided tape is your secret weapon for a neat seam. Place the box facedown on top of your gift wrap, leaving the paper attached to roll. Adhere with double-sided tape, and crease paper along the box's edge with thumb and forefinger.
For them, a good time involves checking out classic car shows, hitting a race track, or pointing to every cool car they see and being like, "Oh, that's a 2020 Lexus RC F Track," while you're like, "K?" If you know nothing about cars, then picking out gifts for car lovers can feel like a Herculean task. From handy car accessories to fun car-themed apparel and gear, there are plenty of car gifts that don't require any actual automotive knowledge (and won't break your poor wallet in half, either). Maybe your fave car lover needs some new gadgets and tools to give their ride a glow-up before their next road trip.
Father figures (and sometimes men in general) either seem to have everything or they might tell you that they "really don't need anything" when you ask what you should get them for a Christmas gift or a birthday gift. Spark friendly debates with his relatives and friends like, "Which artist would you remove from hip-hop history?" and "What's the best hip-hop soundtrack?" Or give him a chance to rap all of his old-school favorites.
How do you do, fellow kids?
Recipe cards and coloring pages are involved. ✨
Get into the holiday spirits.

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Carbondale's Bonfire Coffee celebrates 10 years in business – Aspen Times

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Operating a successful coffee franchise in the Roaring Fork Valley can be done with three simple steps: use quality ingredients, provide good customer service and be consistent, said Bonfire Coffee owner Charlie Chacos.
Simple, however, does not mean easy.
“We focus on management and execution,” Chacos said. “And we invest a lot of training into our staff. Most of our employees go through 20 to 30 hours training in their first couple months.”
Bonfire is celebrating its 10th year in business, but Chacos has been tooling around the food industry for most of his life.
Born in Aspen, Chacos grew up in Carbondale after his parents decided to move downvalley and open The Village Smithy in 1975.
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
“Back then, Main Street was a dirt road and there were only a few hundred people here,” Chacos, 50, said. “It was a cow town for sure.”
In 1998, Chacos took over his parents’ restaurant and learned the value of employee management the “hard way,” he said.
“I went from line employee, as a bartender, to owner, skipping all the middle management,” Chacos said. “Those first five years were pretty rough.”
Throughout the years, Chacos said he developed a knack for managing the business side and the other 90% of the job: employee-customer relationships.
In 2004, he attended a Specialty Coffee Association expo in Atlanta, where he learned about the “third-wave” of the coffee industry.
“In the ’90s, everyone was shooting for these complex blends of coffee beans from three to four sources, which were roasted pretty dark,” Chacos said.
At the expo, lighter roasted, often single-source coffees were kicking off the third wave. Chacos brought his newfound knowledge back to Carbondale and successfully applied it at the Smithy. In 2011, he and his business partner Jared Ettelson took it to the next level by opening Bonfire Coffee, 433 Main St.
‘Strong sense of community’
A line of Bonfire customers stretched out onto the sidewalk late Wednesday morning as Leticia “Lety” Gomez, 45, drizzled almond milk into a latte.
“It’s fun to work here, fun to make the drinks,” Gomez said. “I think my favorite part is making art in the coffee with the milk.”
Brilliantly colorful images of Native Americans, Ravens and Wizards painted by local artist Chad Knowles line the wall across from Gomez as she added a scoop of ice cream to a shot of espresso, creating one of the cafe’s specialties: affogato.
Having worked for Chacos for about 20 years at both the Smithy and Bonfire, she said he is not only a good businessman but an excellent boss.
“Charlie takes care of his own, he is always looking out for us employees,” Gomez said.
While some patrons know Bonfire Coffee for its commitment to ethically and sustainably sourced coffee beans, locally roasted in Glenwood Springs, Chacos said the cafe takes numerous strides toward being not only a business in the community but of the community.
“We are able to compost 50 to 60 percent of our waste, including all our cups and service ware,” he said.
Bonfire patrons can find a number of locally produced items at the cafe, including music from local musicians and coffee mugs created by local potter and Bonfire employee Giana Grossman.
About a year ago, 28-year-old Grant Grindler hired on with Chacos as Bonfire’s assistant manager.
“I’ve been in the valley for about three years, and I’ve been coming here since shortly after I first arrived,” Grindler said. “There’s a strong sense of community between the employees but also with the customers.”
The coffee industry is not so different from other restaurant jobs Grindler worked in the past, but he said there’s more satisfaction in the job.
“Coffee is so immersed in our culture,” he said. “I enjoy providing a product people want to wake up to.”
Heading outdoors
The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc across the food service industry, Bonfire Coffee included.
“The pandemic was a roller coaster,” Chacos said. “But we’ve been fortunate to get through it, in large part, because of the Paycheck Protection Program funds and some local grant funding.”
Another boon to the cafe’s business was Carbondale relaxing its outdoor dining restrictions.
“Traveling in Italy, France and Spain opened my eyes to how the cafes bled into the streets,” Chacos explained. “It creates an atmosphere of community that I hope will catch on here in America.”
Bonfire requires customers and employees to don masks while inside the cafe, unless they are seated at the tables. Chacos said ensuring the health of both his employees and customers is essential to his business.
Chacos’ emphasis on employee care extends beyond the Roaring Fork Valley. Whether purchasing coffee beans for local patrons or wholesale through Bonfire’s online store, which accounts for as much as 40% of the company’s revenue, Chacos said he seeks out single-origin coffees from fair-trade farms that pay their workers well.
“In the ’80s, single origin meant from the same country or region,” he said. “But nowadays, we really focus in on buying from the single-farm and co-op operations.”
Ethically sourcing coffee beans comes at a cost, however, and Chacos said he pays above market value to ensure his beans arrive from certified fair-trade farms.
Heading into the “fourth wave” of the coffee industry, Chacos said the future of coffee is in experimenting with the fermentation process, including extending the typical fermentation period of 24 hours and leaving the coffee fruit intact around the bean during the fermentation process.
“With the fruit still there, the seed soaks up those additional flavors,” he said.
While family ties might be what brought Chacos back to the valley as a young man, providing the community with staple locations to eat and drink keeps him rooted in place.
“What I like most about doing business in Carbondale is we are locally sustained,” he said. “Tourism is really nice, but the bulk of our customers are the people who live, eat and play every day right here in the community.”
Reporter Ike Fredregill can be reached at 970-384-9154 or by email at [email protected].
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We Can Grow Coffee in California. But Should We? – Civil Eats

News and commentary about the American food system.
Agriculture experts question whether a drought-stricken state should be using water to grow premium coffee. FRINJ coffee is trying to make that case.
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September 21, 2021

Jay Ruskey’s Good Land Organics coffee farm in Goleta, California. (Photo credit: Alex Nye)
San Diego farmer Chris Bailey has had to think long and hard about how to sustain his family’s 40-acre citrus and avocado farm into the future. Amidst raging wildfires, heat waves, and drought, he is facing very different circumstances than his grandfather did when he began growing there nearly two decades ago.
“Water’s a precious resource, but it’s also expensive,” he says. “I think about whether or not the water will get so expensive that [we] aren’t able to afford to continue.”
A drought in 2015 forced Bailey to cut his farm’s water usage by 25 percent. Since then, he’s tried to find ways to adapt to a future of scarce water with a sky-high price tag. One potential solution in his toolbox: the 10 acres of sprouting Geisha and Catuai Rojo coffee trees he planted two years ago. The trees, which he says require the same amount of water as his avocados, will mature over the next two to three years before producing coffee beans he hopes to sell at a premium to help offset some of his irrigation costs.
“These days, you can’t just say, ‘What works for me now will work in 10 years,’ because that’s not the reality,” Bailey says. “I think you can learn a lot when you push boundaries and shake up the status quo.”
Coffee farming in California has been something unheard of—an anomaly at most—as coffee is traditionally grown in tropical, humid climates throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa. But Bailey is part of an emerging group of growers who in recent years have been populating the state’s southern region under a brand named FRINJ coffee.
“These days, you can’t just say, ‘What works for me now will work in 10 years,’ because that’s not the reality. You can learn a lot when you push boundaries and shake up the status quo.”
Jay Ruskey, the seasoned agriculturalist behind FRINJ, discovered the potential for coffee in California after inter-planting coffee trees with his Hass avocados on the hills of his farm in Goleta, near Santa Barbara, as an experiment nearly 20 years ago. The result—sustainably grown, flavor-rich beans—inspired him to establish a domestic coffee market in North America that focuses on the journey from crop to cup.
Since 2015, the farmers working with the brand have planted more than 100,000 coffee trees on more than 70 farms located in San Diego, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo. Their trademark crops consist of specialty Arabica varieties like Geisha, Cuicateco, Laurina, Mundo Novo, Pacamar, and Caturra Rojo.
A number of factors make California an attractive place to grow coffee. First, it has a drier climate that has made it immune to the devastating coffee rust fungus seen in tropical regions. Second, the farms are located further from the equator, which means the coffee beans take longer to ripen; the flower-to-harvest period lasts 10–12 months, which is roughly two to four months longer than coffee grown in other regions.  Because there is more time for the plants to mature, the taste of the coffee, Ruskey says, is more “defined.”
Jay Ruskey. (Photo credit: Alex Nye)
Carrying the hefty price tag of $160 to $256 per pound, FRINJ targets locavore consumers who can spend a lot on coffee and care about local agriculture, Ruskey says. Though right now it is only sold through the company’s website, he says he sees a potential to expand the market and build an experience around the product, similar to how the wine industry offers tours and tastings at vineyards. In contrast to conventional markets where the majority of farmers aren’t paid a living wage, Ruskey says another reason for developing FRINJ was to shift views around compensating coffee farmers fairly.
“To have [a] cup of coffee, that farmer has to hand-pick beans at the perfect ripeness, turn the coffee four or five times a day, dry it for a week, go through special fermentation, and roast it just the right way,” Ruskey says. “We want people to think about the things that it takes to make a good quality cup of coffee and all the people involved.”
Ruskey offers growers half the sales value of their crop. The company provides farmers with seed varieties of their choice, extension services for guidance on growing practices, and help finding harvesters. Sales and post-harvest processes are handled by FRINJ—the company has one wet mill in Goleta and one in northern San Diego County.
Still, agriculture experts remain torn on whether a drought-stricken state should be using water resources to fuel production of premium coffee.
California’s Mediterranean climate has supported the state’s long legacy as an agricultural powerhouse. The state produces more than 400 commodities—40 percent of all organic production in the U.S. and more than a third of the country’s vegetables and two thirds of its fruits and nuts—according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
At the same time, the entire state is currently plagued by water scarcity, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center’s map for California. Recent studies have also projected a 20 to 40 percent decline in production for crops such as grapes, oranges, walnuts, avocados, and almonds by 2070 due to the impacts of climate change.
Compared to a crop with a water-intensive reputation like almonds, coffee takes considerably more H2O—in fact, nearly double. Seven grams of roasted beans take on average 130 liters of water. Available estimates for almonds show an average water intake of approximately 56.76 liters of water per seven grams. This would amount to 520 liters of water per one ounce of coffee beans and 227 liters of water per one ounce of whole almonds.
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Though coffee farmers traditionally rely predominately on rainfall, in California’s drier climate, coffee growers have to rely mostly on irrigation. This means dipping into canals and other surface waterways, which have shrunk to some of their lowest levels on record, or groundwater aquifers, which are increasingly running dry and leaving some in the state without a drinking water supply.
Ruskey encourages growers to put water-conserving practices into place and says based on the layered systems he’s engineered, growing one acre of coffee takes about the same amount of water as growing one acre of avocados—or about three to four acre feet of water (or 978,000 to 1.3 million gallons) per acre per year, depending on soil type and annual rainfall.
His scheme, which he welcomes farmers to replicate, uses avocado trees as a canopy crop, with passion fruit and dragon fruit vines growing up the base and rows of the trees. More generally, he says, farmers are encouraged to incorporate windbreaks, shade trees, and other plants to increase the water holding capacity of the soil.
Jay Ruskey’s California coffee farm. (Photo credit: Alex Nye)
Ruskey isn’t sure whether his trees use less water than those in traditional coffee growing regions, which have much more rainfall. However, he says that one benefit to growing coffee trees in California is that farmers don’t have to grapple with coffee leaf rust. This fungus thrives in wetter, more humid regions and has devastated many smallholder farmers. From 2012 to 2017 alone, the disease caused more than $3 billion in damage and lost profits and forced almost two million farmers across Central and South America to abandon their land.
Experts in hydrology, such as Josué Medellin-Azuara of the University of California, Merced, say that if California farmers want to add this crop to their repertoire, it is possible. An associate professor with the university’s Water Systems Management Lab, Medellin-Azuara notes that the state has had a long history of juggling consumption from a variety of water sources near and far. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be challenges.
“There is no such thing as normal years anymore, unfortunately,” he says. “Drought conditions this year have been very severe, and the phenomenon of drought is recurrent. You might see good years, but then you’ll see very dry years. It’s constant whiplash.”
Medellin-Azuara says that the highest risks around water access remain in the agricultural Central Valley. However, cutbacks in southern regions are either already happening or will likely happen soon, thanks in part to implementation of the state’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), which will place new limits on limit groundwater pumping beginning next year.
Noting the unpredictability of rainfall everywhere due to climate change, Medellin-Azuara says it would be wise for coffee producers, no matter where they are, to implement low-volume irrigation systems.
What stands out to Medellin-Azuara though is how little is known or published about coffee’s impact on California’s ecosystems. This includes specific water requirements based on factors including elevation, soil, precipitation, and overall climate. For all these reasons, he believes further research is needed.
Other voices in agriculture say that the story of FRINJ coffee bleeds into ethical and philosophical territory. Nicole Lefore, director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small Scale Irrigation, says there is a larger issue of inequity at play in the conversation about California coffee.
“I think it’s important to ask, ‘Why use a scarce water resource in California to produce coffee that’s for a very elite market, but not pay a living wage for someone in Africa or Central America where coffee is really suited for production?’” she says. “From a natural resource perspective, you can start losing sight of the fact that resources like water, though they’re local, are also within a global system.”
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“From a natural resource perspective, you can start losing sight of the fact that resources like water, though they’re local, are also within a global system.”
Increasingly, Lefore says, academics and policymakers in global food systems have been prioritizing nutritional security. For that reason, coffee may be seen as a use that is secondary to food as water and soil nutrients become less available down the line due to climate change.
Despite these challenges, Ruskey hopes to provide farmers with a way to support their farms and protect their livelihoods. He says he has also thought about what role drought or severe climate will play in shaping the industry, so he’s been working with a team of crop engineers under FRINJ to develop varieties that are drought, wind, and frost resistant.
“I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I have to keep pushing to make this successful,” he says. “There are a lot of farmers out there who look at FRINJ as a guiding light, so I’m driven to help keep that light shining bright.”
In addition to creating systems that stand up to the looming threat of climate change, he’s also been trying to draw greater awareness for the emerging market, he says.
And Bailey, who is bracing for more water cutbacks next year, says he’s grateful to have made contact with Ruskey. Armed with soil sensors and inline drip emitters for water efficiency, Bailey continues to look for ways to adapt to what’s ahead.
If he’s able to produce a premium product, he says he’s willing to expand his coffee production. And while he still has a few years before he hits his stride, he’s optimistic that California coffee can be one piece of his plan to keep his family’s farm alive.
Lindsay Campbell is a Canadian freelance journalist with a beat in food and agriculture reporting. Read more >

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