July Charity: Harvest of Talents


During the whole month of July, I am partnering with Harvest of Talents for World Hunger by donating 20% of my profits to this great cause. They exist to help alleviate spiritual and physical hunger around the world. Thousands of people die each day of hunger-related causes, and hunger now affects over 1 billion people worldwide. Mark your calendars for the 4th Saturday of October, HARVEST DAY at Lincoln Christian Church. Go to: http://harvestoftalents.org/ to learn more.

What is “single origin”?

It’s pretty simple, really, when you think about it. Single Origin coffee is coffee coming from a single place, whether that be a single farmer or a group of farms from a single country. All of my coffee is single origin, meaning I don’t mix or “blend” my coffee beans.

Pictured here you see a farmer tossing coffee cherries. Inside the cherries is a seed. Coffee beans are actually seeds that are roasted for consumption.

Legend has it that coffee was created so monks could stay awake for long hours of prayer. A goat herder named Kaldi had his flock of goats grazing. He noticed that after his goats ate berries from a coffee tree they became energized and did not want to sleep at night. There you have it. Goats love coffee and the rest is history.

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Father’s Day Giveaway

Dads are special. I want to help you give your dad something special this Father’s Day.

This Saturday, June 18th, 2016 I will have Father’s Day Gift Baskets that will include fresh roasted coffee, biscotti, coffee cakes and more! In order to win one of these beautiful baskets, share a happy or hilarious memory of your father by commenting on my Giveaway Facebook post.

A winner will be chosen at random and will be announced at 9 a.m. at The ALMH Market on June 18th, 2016. Winner must be present to win. I can’t wait to hear your stories. Also, this month, I’m partnering with Woven Together. Their mission is to bring the Father to the fatherless through adoption and foster care support.


Giveaway Details: Winner will be selected using “Random Name Picker”. Winner must be present to win. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. No purchase necessary.

June Charity: Woven Together


During the whole month of June, I am partnering with Woven Together by donating 20% of my profits to this great organization. They exist to respond to the needs of orphans locally and around the world. Just thinking about how to care for the millions of orphans in the world can sometimes seem overwhelming! They recognize that not everyone is called to adopt or foster, but everyone is able to make a difference in the lives of the orphans. I think that’s wonderful. Go to: http://woventogetherlogancounty.org/ to learn more.

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Woohoo! My first market is tomorrow.

I have been preparing for this day for over a year now! Holy cow.

Tomorrow, Saturday, May 21 from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m., I will be selling 3 varieties of home roasted coffee at the all new ALMH Market. Not only that, I’m also selling my favorite coffee, Huehuetenango Adiesto, by the cup! YEAH.

I truly believe that this market will benefit our community greatly. Not only can you buy fresh coffee at the market, but there will be organic vegetables, health presentations, a smoothie bike (HUH!? Yup, come see for yourself) a walking trail and even a yoga class. Something for the whole family. Pile them up in the car and come on out. I can’t wait to see you.

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A Year of Persistence

My love for coffee started in high school. But my obsession for fresh roasted coffee did not start until my first cup of coffee from Peoria’s Thirty-Thirty Coffee Company. From there curiosity of home roasting coffee grew into a hobby. I started home roasting coffee in 2014 using air popcorn poppers and decided I wanted to try selling it at a local farmers market. Once you have a cup of coffee that was roasted only 2 days ago, it’s difficult to go back to buying coffee at the grocery store!popcorn-roasted

I soon discovered that Illinois has stringent farmers market laws. In April 2015, I started working with State Representative Tim Butler’s office to get legislation passed to allow home roasted coffee as a cottage food. We hit many road blocks. We found a pending bill (HB2486) that would allow us to add home roasted coffee as an approved item, but it was too late to make an amendment. After months of research, Butler’s office found a contact in State of Illinois Farmers Market Task Force and we finally got the right people to talk to. Everything was lining up. We were working with the director to add home roasted coffee to the list, and then she retired. It would be nearly three months before the new director would follow-up with me. But, this past March I got the green-light! I am the first in Illinois to sell home roasted coffee under the cottage food law. No need to rent an expensive commercial kitchen. I am very grateful for Butler’s office, specifically Matt Butcher, for helping me with this project. Ryan Williams with the Logan County Health Department has been helpful as well.

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Farm Gate Coffee

All of my coffee is either Fair Trade or better. Farm Gate is better because it is “direct trade coffee”. Farm Gate means that a price was negotiated with the farmer directly “at the farm gate,” that is, without any of the confusing export and import fees. The prices I pay for these coffees are above Fair Trade minimums. My supplier can easily verify that the price I pay makes it to the people who do the work, and are responsible for the great quality of my coffee. Farm Gate is a simple principle that allows coffee producers to make premium prices in reward for coffee quality, and to reinvest to improve quality even more in the future.My Farm Gate supplier guarantees that Farm Gate prices are 50% over Fair Trade (FT) pricing, but often they are 100%+ more that FT minimums. Fair Trade is a farm cooperative certification – that is, it does not allow certification for small independent farms. I do support coffee cooperatives, but they are often not what consumers might think. There are many excellent cooperatives, and many that are large, powerful, corrupt, and mired in bureaucracy. My Farm Gate supplier avoids the bureaucracy of cooperatives that sometimes do not share premium prices with their farmer members. Fair Trade certifies that the cooperative received the FT price, but it does not guarantee that the men and women who produce your coffee were paid the FT price.