Article: A Grand Coffee House

Written by Cafe Campesino on Aug 1, 2008 in Article, NEWSLETTER |

By Jimmy Foglio

Cafe Campesino will celebrate the grand opening of our coffee house on Saturday, August 16th, from 9:00-4:00 pm at the same location as our roastery at 725 Spring Street. For more information see this month’s Community Caravan.

The coffee house staff is excited about the promise of this new enterprise, which not only offers a complex menu of delicious items catering to connoisseurs and non-coffee drinkers alike, but exemplifies responsible environmental practices and a humble no-tip policy.

One of the reasons coffee house manager Joe Johnston came to Cafe Campesino was the progressive, earth-friendly values. “All of our serving materials are bio-degradable and/or bio-compostable; we’re trying to make the entire place as green as possible,” he notes. “Even the corn-based forks produce no chemical residue and will break down in 45 days if you throw them in a compost pile.” A little known fact about Joe, a Georgia Southwestern graduate who did his pre-management in construction, is that he recently created a raised organic garden in his apartment complex using railroad ties. Aside from his enjoyment in making a mean cafe’ mocha (a very popular latte’ with chocolate added), Joe is happy with the upbeat, positive energy of the work environment.

Cafe Campesino’s Assistant Manager Rebecca Young represents that high energy commitment. Rebecca has played a key role in the start-up of the coffee house; through it all, she has been on the scene. Rebecca is excited to have taken part in what she calls “the so many little things that go along with this place.” She has also worked hard to learn the art of making espressos and coffee drinks, and in Fair Grounds’ opinion has mastered the craft of the Iced Mocha, which she admits is her favorite.

But after you order that specialty drink, you won’t find the customary tip jar next to the register. With so many businesses asking, encouraging, even requiring gratuity, Cafe Campesino has adopted the philosophy (spearheaded by Joe) that employees are paid-well enough and should want to do good for their customers, without the tips. Tripp Pomeroy (Cafe Campesino’s president) notes that customers can save their extra change, and if they want to do something meaningful with it, they can contribute to one of our producer projects.

Perhaps it is this fluid karma that has led the opening of the coffee house to produce an increase in sales. According to Roast Supervisor Maty de Barrios, orders in the back have jumped in the past few weeks. Maty, orginally from Chiapas, Mexico, has been roasting for Cafe Campesino for three years. Her palate is complex and experienced, and if you’d consider trusting anyone with coffee advice, it should be her, the originator of the popular “Maty’s Blend.”

“All of our coffees are great,” she says. “But they are very different. For me, the type of coffee I drink changes with my mood. Sometimes I have to switch after going for a while with one of them.” Maty notes that the Critical Mass Blend and Sumatra are boldly full bodied and boldly caffeinated, while a full-city blend works well in the morning and a dark roast pairs nicely with strong flavored foods. But Maty prefers to sip her own signature blend with cookies.

Menu and Special Events Update

The coffee house has also just added the delicious Italian favorite Cafe D’Amore, which utilizes distinct Bellagio flavors, and offers an alternative refreshment for non-coffee drinkers in their Botanica, a frozen infusion of tea and fruit. Moreover, the coffee house offers chai and traditional sweet and unsweetened iced teas, baked goods from Koinonia, ecclectic reading material and is looking to add juices in the near future. But the coffee house promises to be more than a meeting place to drink and work the laptop. Special events are in the works, like movie nights, poetry slams and live music. Also, our walls will be featuring new local artists’ portfolios on a rotating basis. Stay tuned to our blog and newsletter for updates.

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