♫ Is the most wonderful time of the year ♫
Please be advised that our roastery will be closed for the holidays. ALL ORDERS MUST BE PLACED BY FRIDAY DECEMBER 19TH. We will offer delivery on Monday December 22nd and Tuesday December 23rd as needed.
The roastery will be CLOSED until Monday January 5th! Remember to check your supplies and give us a call at 416-534-6335 to place your advanced orders before or by December 19th. As always we appreciate your business and wish you a peaceful holiday season and New Year!
On the heels of Coop Coffees AGM 2014 comes the relaunch of our cooperative's website! Revamped, refreshed and reloaded, we encourage you to give it a tour and learn more about the righteous entity that makes it possible for us to continue offering our customers in Toronto and beyond, fairtrade and organic certified coffees procured from small and independent thriving farmer-led and democratically organized coops in the global south. Check it out at http://coopcoffees.coop/
To follow up from our coffee-flour story with yet another latest, greatest coffee-related innovation, we bring you news of Cascara Tea! It is made from the husks of the coffee cherries. Apparently it is bright and fruity with notes of hibiscus, citrus zest and tobacco. It is all the rage in the US as a soda or a chai blend. I have yet to see it here but am looking forward to sampling it! Love to hear from you if you have tried it.
GROW AHEAD has gone MOBILE! Scan this QR code (any QR reader app will do), it'll take you to GA's mobile page where you can become a grower by lending monies towards the financing of a coffee container from one of our coffee producer partners! Want to become part of a truly revolutionary financing model but haven't got a smartphone? You can still make a loan online at www.growahead.org (remember to select Alternative Grounds as your affiliated partner). Coffee addicts, drinkers, fairtraders and farmers unite!
LIKE WALDO, THE AG BEANS ARE EVERYWHERE! FIND THEM AT:
- Hello Junction! Find our beans at the JUNCTION FROMAGERIE, 3042 Dundas West, junctionfromagerie.com. Reload on fresh locally roasted fairtrade coffee beans while shopping for artisanal cheese, preserves, bread and other goodies!
- Right on Roncie! Pick-up your AG java along with your favourite bread, cheese and/or treaties at MABEL's, 323 Roncesvalles Ave. (and 1156 Queen St. West), Hours: 7:30-7:30 weekdays and 9-6pm on weekends. You can also find our fine java when you head south at EVERGREEN NATURAL FOODS, 161 Roncesvalles Ave. And last and not on the strip but close by, at SUNNY JOE's (250 Sorauren Ave., across from the park), open 7:30 to 5:30 Monday to Friday, Saturday and Sunday 8:30 - 5:30.
- In Parkdale? No problem! We deliver regularly to the GOOD CATCH GENERAL STORE (1556 Queen W. at Sorauren), and the WEST END FOOD COOP (1229 Queen W. at Dufferin). And still in the west end but just a tad bit north, find us at the NUTHOUSE (1256A Bloor St. West).
Curious about what makes our Queen E Espresso taste so regal? Go visit our Ugandan producer partner Gumutindo's revamped website www.gumutindocoffee.coop for the scoop! This farmer coop brings together 7000 members farming in Mt. Elgon (Eastern Uganda). Gumutindo just entered its tenth year of operations and is committed to improving the lives of all their member farmers (youth, women, men, children, eldres) by delivering a variety of community services and infrastructure supported by the income generated through the sale of coffee in the fair trade market. Follow them on twitter for updates
"My farm was beautiful; it was big.. Coffee rust appeared and wiped out everything," Edwin Diaz (Guatemalan coffee farmer).
Cooperative Coffee's Roya fund, which we started last year, continues to support our partners! As the article featured in NPR's the Salt indicates, we can not underestimate the devastating effects this fungus is having on communities across Central and into South America. Kudos go out to all the organic innovation intiated at the farm level by so many of our partners, including those at COMSA who have been leaders in teaching other farmers best practices. Read the full article here: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/07/28/335293974/rust-devastates-guatemalas-prime-coffee-crop-and-its-farmers
“For coffee farmers who are dealing with this rust crisis ... if they don’t have coffee to sell, they don’t eat,” - Charlie Fishbein ( The Coffee Exchange) speaks about the Roya Crisis. Read a great piece written by one of our own Coop Coffees Monika by clicking on this link! This article recently published Canada's Media Co-op, an online magazine that covers "news from the grassroots", addresses the crisis impact on farmers.
Happy to report that through our Roya premium fund and with the help of Root Capital, we at Coop Coffees have delivered around $300,000 to our Latin American partners working to renovate and/or resist the effect of roya.
The wait is over! All you who have been pining for our Colombian coffee from Fondo Paez, it is back in stock!
OTHER GOOD STUFF!
We recently received an email from a young student asking us to endorse a campaign to bring awareness of climate change to the gas pump. We were so impressed we thought we would share it with you! Check it out: http://ourhorizon.org/TEDx, http://globalnews.ca/video/1335461/grade-10-student-pitches-global-warming-warning-on-gas-nozzles.
Ontario Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal announced that the province would finally move to limit the use of Neonicotinoids (pesticides) come fall. He is under pressure from large agro-corporations not to do so. If you love to EAT, you have to love the BEES! Time to get those digits busy and tweet @ your support. For more info visit www.organiccouncil.ca/news/action-4-pollinators!
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Fall's spotlight star is the Aangen Community Centre outdoors Cafe in Toronto's West End (McCormick Park, 66 Sheridan Avenue, South of Dundas, West of Dufferin)!
Located just around the corner from the McCormick Arena, the Aangen Cafe is run out of a shipping container, the first of its kind installed in a city park. It opened its counter to the public on September 27th and it's a welcomed and delicious addition to the neighbourhood. (see below: friendly staff Heather and Aram)
The Aangen Café is open Tuesday - Friday 2:00-7:00pm and Saturday & Sunday 10:00am-3:00pm. Friday afternoons-evenings, it offers a tasty meal for only $5 per person - each week will feature a new and satisfying dinner entree. Also on the menu: savoury snacks (somosas and patties), sweet treats, refreshments and freshly brewed artisan roasted Alternative Grounds joe!
A slice of the cafe revenue will go towards supporting the Centre's emergency relief and community work. For more info contact firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow the cafe for updates @AangenCC on Twitter and visit www.aangen.com and www.maccormickpark.ca!
EVENTS & HAPPENINGS
Have you heard that Toronto's 1st tool library is open in the basement of PARC? (1499 Queen St.W) They are taking donations and looking for volunteers. You can purchase a membership and borrow all the tools needed for that long-delayed project! Find out more at www.irbe.org. You can also call 647-965-5604.
Beit Zatoun Looking for stimulating and mind expanding activities in the city, make sure to review BZ's impressive calendar of events at www.beitzatoun.org/cms/events.aspx for concerts/recitals, art exhibits, workshops, talks and film screenings. Looks like May is going to be jam-packed!!
There will be food! The Sorauren Farmers Market is still happening every Monday (indoors, at the Fieldhouse).
Interested in learning more about Fairtrade, Organics and Social Justice? Make sure to check our Resources page for more info and great links!
Check out "Fair trade vs. Free trade" a concise educational and advocacy piece produced by the fairworldproject.org:"Wouldn't it be great if public policies benefited the public, so everyone could prosper, and so-called "free trade agreements" valued our precious resources rather than exploiting people and the planet? As consumers, we have the power to vote with our dollars, as well as to engage in local and federal policy reform in order to help change.." Watch at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNPkiJrk_Bw
A must read: Fairtrade Manitoba has published online a piece written by Linda. Thought provoking and insightful, this is something you must check out, www.fairtrademanitoba.ca/why/profile/an-alternative-perspective-on-the-benefits-of-certified-fair-trade . And here's another fantastic article via the Fairtrade Federation that provides an inside look of the business behind your daily cup of fairtrade joe - it features our coop and a few of our dedicated partners: www.fairtradefederation.org/what-do-you-know-about-the-business-behind-your-coffee. Read on!!!
Also remember to check out Faitrade Proof, one of Coop Coffees' initiatives which addresses "transparency" in fairtrade transactions made by its members. At www.fairtradeproof.org, you can trace the beans you love from farmer to roaster, and learn about the intricate yet rewarding inner workings of fairtrade partnerships.
Remember, if you want to become better acquainted with our fairtrade pricing policy, check out the Fairtrade section of this website. We are always on the look-out for great ideas - things that partner well with us and what we are trying to accomplish through Alternative Grounds. So feel free to drop us a line and share suggestions with our staff.
Also, check out our Greenstuff section for tips and suggestions to help us soften our collective and individual carbon footprint! In this section you'll find neat and fun ideas for the use and re-use of our burlap/jute bags, paper bags, etc. And we bet your compost could use a little of our coffee chaff to lighten its load!! If you are indeed interested, give Linda a call at 416-534-6335
We're Passionate About Fairtrade and Love to Share Our Passion! Over the years we have gathered a good collection of articles, books and videos about different aspects of Fairtrade and coffee. These are available for your perusal at the cafe or on loan. We're also available to do slide shows and presentations. So give us a call at 416-534-6335.
AND THANKS TO...
Gerry for bringing a quotation from the late Tommy Douglas to our attention:
"Courage, my friends. It is not too late to build a better world."
Words to live by!!