Local provider claims fresher, fairly traded coffee
At Sunnyside Cafe, caffeine isn’t the only buzz in the air. The Cafe started selling K’uun coffee from Bean Masters Inc., a local coffee company based in Calmar, Iowa, at the beginning of this school year.
The brand and the company boast Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance certification. They source globally and buy coffee from Colombia, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Mexico, Ethiopia and Kenya.
“I’m a proponent of Fair Trade, and to know that workers worldwide are being fairly compensated for my purchase is inspiring,” Dylan Hinton (‘15) said.
Bean Masters also uses a method called “micro-roasting” that allows them to keep their coffee fresher.
“We source the best quality beans we can get,” Roaster and Co-owner of Bean Masters Barbara Vaquero, said. “We roast the coffee to order in small batches. Our coffee is fresher, and people can taste the difference.”
The Sunnyside staff is also passionate about the cause presented by Bean Masters.
“We’ll soon begin selling K’uun by the pound,” Sunnyside worker David Fares (‘13) said. “We’ll relay the feedback we receive from the students to Barbara and Fernando [Barbara’s husband, and co-owner of Bean Masters, Inc.], and he’ll begin to tweak the blend to people’s tastes. Stay tuned for a blend, soon to come.”
Sodexo decided to implement this brand as a part of their efforts toward sustainability, ethical practices and environmentalism.
“We want to see how Luther students respond [to the switch],” Sunnyside worker Hilary Callahan (‘13) said. “If it gets a good response, we’ll implement the brand in Marty’s, Oneota and other places.”
Sunnyside workers have noticed students’ reactions.
“We’re gotten good responses so far,” Callahan said.
Some feel the blend is different than Starbucks.
“I think it’s got a nice, smooth flavor to it,” said Fares. “It’s not as dark of a coffee. The dark roast is bold, but still smooth. The medium roast is flavorful.”
Students not employed by Sunnyside enjoy the coffee, as well.
“It’s really quality coffee, and obviously a lot of care goes into making it,” Hinton said. “It tastes so much better than Starbucks. It’s great to know that I’m not getting coffee from a corporation.”
Sunnyside workers will soon take a tour of the Bean Masters headquarters to see how the coffee is made.
“We want the workers and the customers to know about the coffee origins,” Barbara Vaquero said. “The students are very hard workers. I was impressed by their responsibility and commitment. It couldn’t be better.”
The Vaqueros are locally and globally minded, and planning to make a positive impact on the Luther community as well as the global community.
“As we grow, we want to help improve our community,” Barbara Vaquero said. “Five percent of all of our funds raised from business with Luther will go to a fund for Luther students, in partnership with Sodexo.”
Visit Sunnyside Café in the CFA for a taste of what Bean Masters has to offer.