Co-op Spotlight: Peace Coffee

National Cooperative Month is in full-swing and we’re thrilled to feature one of our favorite local co-ops today. Peace Coffee is a staple here at Valley Natural Foods. You’ll find bags of ground and whole bean varieties on our shelves but also freshly brewed in our Coffee & Juice Bar and inside our handcrafted espresso drinks.

Cooperative Coffees

Founded in 1996, it wasn’t long before Peace Coffee joined the group Cooperative Coffees – a partnership of 20 different coffee-growing co-opers throughout Ethiopia, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, and Rwanda. This cooperative is comprised of 23 community-based roasters in the US and Canada who are committed to building and supporting only fair and sustainable trade relationships to benefit farmers and their exporting co-ops, families, and communities throughout the world.

Though Peace Coffee isn’t a formal co-op itself (it’s actually a B Corporation), it works directly with co-ops to source all of its coffee.
The Minneapolis-based coffee roaster partners with larger coffee-growing co-ops that are fair-trade certified (such as Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union with over 10,000 members). Peace Coffee co-owner and long-time CEO, Lee Wallace, has made it a mission to visit the co-ops Peace Coffee supports to ensure the treatment of the workers and the quality of the coffee beans that will eventually become Peace Coffee.

Pedal Not Petrol

Peace Coffee makes clear strides to lessen their carbon footprint. One way is through 2-wheeled delivery. Yup — bicycle couriers!
With the manta “Pedal not Petrol,” Peace Coffee bike delivers their product to stores, coffee shops, and food co-ops within the Twin Cities – over 50% of the Twin Cities coffee orders all year! Suburban and out of state deliveries are filled via a biodiesel van.

But how exactly did Peace Coffee get its name?

After the nameless coffee company began purchasing coffee from Guatemala in 1997 after forming a partnership with Nobel Peace Prize winner, Rigoberta Menchu. Inspired by the Guatemalan Peace Accords (signed in 1996), this coffee was sold as Guatemalan Peace Coffee. The name stuck as they continued to seek out more partnerships with farmers and co-ops in other countries.
Itchy to try Peace Coffee? Head to the Coffee & Juice Bar for a quick self-serve cup of handcrafted beverage! You can also pick-up a bag (or 2 or 3…) in the coffee and tea aisle near the bulk foods.

Learn more about Peace Coffee on their website.

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