It goes without saying that Puget Sounders love their coffee – and not just because it’s packed with disease-fighting antioxidants.
So it follows that we at Town & Country Markets should carry a wide range of high-quality coffee, much of it roasted in the Northwest, like Seattle-based roasters Caffe Vita, Caffe Umbria and Zoka Coffee. You can buy beans, or ground, or you can grind it right in the Market to the consistency you prefer, in the quantity you want, and take it home in compostable and recyclable bags.
We’re particularly excited about Equal Exchange, with whom we have had a long and mutually beneficial relationship. Equal Exchange is a worker-owned co-op that practices honest and fair trade relationships and cooperative principles, providing consumers with gourmet coffee direct from small-scale farmer co-ops.
Their certified organic coffees are grown by farmers who manage the soil in a sustainable agricultural system. The organic coffees are shade grown, which means they’re grown alongside other food crops under a canopy of taller trees, providing vital wildlife habitat, preventing soil erosion and allowing for biodiversity.
Equal Exchange works with small farmer organizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the United States. T&C employees have traveled with Equal Exchange representatives to Peru to see coffee farming first hand.
In the latter portion of 2013, Equal Exchange unveiled the first Fair Trade farmer-owned certification system. Referred to as the Small Producer Symbol (SPP, for its Spanish acronym), it was scheduled to begin showing up in the fall of 2012 on Equal Exchange coffees in food co-ops and natural food stores across the country. Ten years in the making, the SPP certification system represents the small farmers’ persistent attempt to ensure a more just trade system for their fellow farmers everywhere. The colorful SPP logo will initially appear on Equal Exchange coffee bags and bulk coffee bins, and will soon become more prominent throughout stores. While the SPP itself is just a little logo, in actuality, the real symbolism of this new Fair Trade seal is anything but small. This bold step forward reflects the fact that today the very folks for whom the Fair Trade movement was built are taking a leadership role in shaping their own destiny. The potential impact this new system will have on small farmers, their co-operative organizations, and the entire Fair Trade movement could be quite profound indeed. You can read more about this in a letter from the Equal Exchange Education and Campaigns Manager on our website.
Equal Exchange is the coffee of choice for our coffee shops, including the coffee shop in our Bainbridge Island market. Equal Exchange itself owns and operates the espresso bar right in Ballard Market. You can buy those same beans and products in our stores.
All of our suppliers are committed to quality and freshness, as well as to their own communities and communities around the world.