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To some, a cup of coffee is just something to get them going early in the morning or keep them going late at night. To others, a cup of coffee is a delicacy that should be perfected and respected. This is the way that Izolda Gomez approaches coffee and is most of the reason why she created Morning Brew, a coffee house located in Durham, North Carolina. Morning Brew is a place where all coffee lovers can come together to get exactly what they need. Those morning commuters can stop by and get a basic cup of coffee with some cream and sugar to fuel them for their work day, and the folks who look at a good cup of espresso as if it is a work of art also know they can come to Morning Brew to find exactly what they need.
Izolda Gomez runs her coffee shop with pride and knows that any coffee aficionado would enjoy coming to Morning Brew for a cup of something unique. No matter what the roast is, every cup of coffee is brewed with the highest quality of beans available. While some people know that the Morning Brew is the only place to get a quality cup of coffee in Durham, others will frequent the business for some of their organic food that comes from people directly in the community. It is a community-driven model that has fueled the company’s success and made Morning Brew into the fine establishment it is today.
In a world where chain coffee shops populate every single corner, Izolda Gomez knew she had to do something different to get people interested in what she was offering. That is why she went with the decision to serve hand-crafted coffee with a message. She felt that by running a business in a way that promotes sustainable alternatives while educating the community about fair trade and buying local, she would eventually make a difference in more ways than one. Her business has helped thousands of coffee drinkers by giving them the ability to make a difference through their dollars, which allows her to support quality coffee growers and local food suppliers.
A lot of coffee fans will go to chain cafés and supermarkets without worrying how the supply chain actually breaks down. Izolda Gomez has gone out of her way to educate people and let them know that by patronizing her small business, customers are not only helping her, but helping the other small farmers in their community as well. She knew that many of the growing chains were putting small, local farmers out of business and felt that she had to help them find a way to be justly compensated.
One of the ways she has been able to educate customers and help local businesses is by working as a wholesale partner with Counter Culture Coffee, which is a local roasting company. Izolda Gomez has worked toward exposing the gap between the consumer and those people who grow coffee, showing the issues that arise whenever a middleman comes into play and how those issues lead to unfair pricing.
Counter Culture Coffee is a company that was also started with the hope of informing the public about these kinds of problems and creating a healthy relationship with small farmers who produce quality coffee beans all around the world. It is easy to see why the business relationship between Morning Brew and Counter Culture Coffee seemed like a natural fit.
From the very beginning, Izolda’s mission has been simple: Run a coffee shop that works off of sustainable practices while helping local and small farmers in business. She has been able to provide her customers with coffee and organic food made in a cost-efficient environment and has passed along her tips to many inquiring minds on just how she has managed to do this.
First, she says she encouraged her customers to bring their own mugs. This can help boost business while saving everyone money. Since she asked her customers to bring their own mugs, she no longer had to work the cost of cups into every sale. It also saved her money on cleaning the mugs that were used in-store and saves all of that water for more important uses. Selling reusable mugs is a good idea to generate additional revenue for people who do not have a favorite mug already. An added bonus is that when people use their own mugs, they feel more comfortable and feel like they are at home, which will keep them coming back for more.
Making sure that her packaging is Eco-friendly was yet another important decision made by Izolda Gomez. The eco-friendly packaging was one of the reasons why she hooked up with Counter Culture Coffee. Eco-friendly packaging is common among many organic companies and fair trade coffee brands that strive to reduce as much waste as possible. She always has believed that it is not just about what a company does, but also about what the companies that they deal with do to make a real difference in the world.
Compostable coffee cups provide even more advantages. They eliminate the use of petroleum and other unsustainable materials. While typical paper and plastic coffee cups will wind up in parks, oceans, and landfills with no possibility of breaking down, compostable coffee cups will eventually break down. It is estimated that 20 billion coffee cups are consumed by Americans, which is an issue that needs to be addressed by major coffee chains.
The equipment that is used can go a long way in creating a sustainable business. A lot of coffee shop owners deal with bills that are sky high because of all the pieces of equipment that are running constantly. This can be reduced by buying equipment that is a little more energy friendly and is lower on the power consumption scale. Green Line creates an espresso machine that has a standby mode as well as a nighttime shutdown mode in case the machine is left on overnight. The software in the machine also learns as it goes to figure out the best ways to save some cash. There is one model, the Plus 4, which can help coffee shop owners save as much as 47 percent in operating costs compared to other espresso machines.
Menus are not often thought about as an important area of sustainability, but a lot of the material used to promote the business is on paper that may or may not be made from recycled material. It is important to find someone who can create these menus, gift cards, business cards and more out of recyclable materials so they can all fit into the company’s business plan of staying as green as possible. This is a great way to promote that message as well as the business to any potential customers.
Finally, Izolda Gomez supported farms that use green practices in their day-to-day functions and roasters who pay fair prices to farmers which then allow the farmers to use green practices instead of being forced to cut corners. These actions and decisions to support the people with whom she deals have ensured her business has a smaller carbon footprint than many others. Farmers in the local communities as well as their families have all benefitted from these decisions as well. Izolda Gomez truly believes that Morning Brew is successful and sustainable today because of all these steps she took throughout the years.
Izolda Gomez clearly wants to see her business flourish in the coming years, but she is also concerned with seeing the environment stop taking as much of a hit as it has been over the past few decades. One of the ways she is ensuring this happens is by promoting Keep Cup. This is an organization that aims to promote the use of reusable cups through the creation of creative products and global campaigns. The group is hoping to design a brand that helps improve reusable rates in cafés around the world by about 40 percent.
In 2013, the company began manufacturing and assembly locations within the United States as well as the United Kingdom to help stimulate local markets. Keep Cup’s products are sold in 32 countries around the world and are already making an impact, but the organization hopes to see this continue. One of Keep Cup’s large products is made up of about 35 disposable cups and lids and is tested more than 1,000 times in order to ensure the quality and usability. The low-energy manufacturing also plays a part in the sustainability of the entire campaign.
Izolda Gomez also supports A 2nd Cup, which is a nonprofit organization and coffee shop based out of Houston, Texas that fights against human trafficking in the city and throughout the world. She hopes that through her contributions to these two organizations, her coffee shop can make an even bigger difference in the world than it already does through its sustainable efforts.
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