Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Can you have a crush on a coffee company?

I know it is irrational and perhaps a bit unprofessional, but I am ga-ga over Peace Coffee. And it is not just because they co-hosted, with IATP and the Wedge Natural Foods Coop, a book signing at Common Roots Cafe in Minneapolis last week. I just can't get enough of the folks, the beans, the vibe, or the socks with the turtle logo. Maybe it is because they all seem to be cyclists, who hold a special place in my heart. Or maybe it is because one of my dearest friends just moved to Minneapolis, where the Peace offices are located in a state-of-the art green building complete with salvaged bricks and a roof-top garden. Or maybe it is the bold red color of their brand, which matches my often-flushed neck.

But I suspect it is really the fact that everyone on staff exudes a friendly, serene state of being in all aspects of their business operations. No doubt Peace folks have a slightly geeky, while definitely hip air about them, but they are not the least bit aloof or stand-offish as they take orders, roast beans, or pedal around the Twin Cities delivering coffee (and now soap too!). Without exception when you meet a member of the Peace Coffee crew, they seem to automatically accept you with a sincere sense of unconditional welcome and desire to show you why Fair Trade rocks! They practically embody (okay, I told you I was over the top!) the principles of Fair Trade.

When I first joined the Fair Trade movement at the Fair Trade Resource Network, I was told that Fair Traders were some of the nicest people I'd ever meet. Very true! Over the years, of course, I have experienced that Fair Traders are human just like everybody else. I'm sure that the folks at Peace are fallible, and, in fact, their cheerfulness would probably make me cranky during cold Minnesota winters. I'm also sure there are many, many others in the movement who are just as cool and committed. Indeed, many of those folks are my friends, I'm grateful to say!

But on this early Washington, D.C. morning, especially as I listen to NPR radio broadcast about the war in Iraq, I'm glad to take a moment to praise Peace.

1 comment:

  1. Wow!! I wish there was a company like that in Austin, TX!!

    I know that we ranked as one of the greenest cities (according to Yahoo!) about a month ago, but I hope we also start going up the ranks in the fair trade area.

    I'm working with the Texas Fair Trade Coalition and Oxfam UT Chapter on some events that'll take place this week. Hopefully that'll raise awareness and make people take some action :)

    I like to think I'm a nice Fair Trader, although I was a bit angry yesterday when I wrote my latest blog entry. Some people like to hate on the fair trade movement, and I posted some comments on my blog and then decided to clear them up or give my opinion on why I thought the haters were wrong.

    If you can, you're more than welcome to check them out (and let me know if what I said made any sense, hehe)

    Take care!