We at Vineville love coffee! Just off the main entrance lobby lies the newest renovation to our church: the Holy Roast Café. This space is a gathering spot for all who enter our doors, for the decaffeinated and the cold, for the sinner and the saint. We gather around a good cup, share stories, talk about life, and “encourage each other onto love and good deeds.” (Heb. 10:24) Such good deeds come even through the coffee we sip, for we brew Café Campesino coffee: local, fair trade, organic, good. Read below to learn more about their story and stop in to the Holy Roast Café soon for a good cup, a good conversation, and a good deed.
The Story behind our coffee
In 1997 a group of volunteers were building a house for Habitat for Humanity in Guatemala. During construction a volunteer dumped a wheelbarrow of dirt on a coffee plant angering the owner. Unbeknownst to them, while saving the plant and negotiating to be able to finish the house, the seeds of this ministry were planted.
Once back in Americus the volunteers couldn’t get that coffee farmer off their minds. They learned all they could about the coffee business. What they discovered is that the farmer, who puts in the most work and takes all the risk, makes the smallest percentage of the profit. Coffee farmers get about a pound of green coffee from each bush – that means hand picking roughly 2,000 coffee cherries per bush. That doesn’t amount to much, because most farmers have fewer than 10 acres of coffee trees. Farmers receive only about 50 cents per pound of coffee produced, and millions of families depended on coffee for their income. The farmer was getting 50 cents, but we were paying $4.00 a pound for Folgers with premium coffees costing twice that.
Bill Harris believed there had to be a better way. There had to be a way for the farmer to share equally in the profits. Before “fair trade” became trendy Café Campesino partnered with coffee growers to do just that. Over the course of 19 years the partnership has grown to include many countries beyond the original group in Guatemala. Café Campesino has ministry partners in Peru, Columbia, Ethiopia, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Congo, Mexico and Uganda. Now the farmers and their families share equally in the profits. The increased revenue is life sustaining and life changing. Whole villages have been transformed by this new business model.
Over the years Café Campesino, which derives its name from the Spanish translation of “coffee from a small farmer,” has developed the equipment and expertise to roast the coffee in Americus. They have developed partnerships with other roasters to increase the benefits to their farmer partners.
100% of the coffee we serve is organic, shade grown and fair trade. It is roasted right here in Georgia. The farmers and their families are grateful for our partnership. So enjoy – knowing that we are:
Doing good – one great cup of coffee at a time.