Around this time of year we hear stories of people giving back to the less fortunate in their communities. Whether it’s Ebenezer Scrooge from a Christmas Carol forgiving debts, or your local church donating money to a worthy cause, there’s something about the Holiday season that propels people to give.
Last week, just before Christmas, I got the opportunity to interview Nathan Westwick from Wild Goose Coffee Roasters. I wanted to do an episode highlighting Wild Goose because they place a huge emphasis on giving back to their community – but not just during the Holidays.
Through their commitment and actions, the folks at Wild Goose remind us that we each have the power to positively influence those around us in practical ways at all times of the year – and what better time to be reminded, than this Holiday season?
Happy New Year! May your 2018 be filled with love, generosity, and excellent coffee!
A lot of firsts on this week’s episode of The BoiseCoffee Podcast! First week live-streaming the entire podcast – if you missed it, be sure to tune in next week on Meerkat and Periscope (follow me at both @ColinMansfield and @BoiseCoffee). More importantly, this was the first week where I interview someone.
Gilles Brunner is a co-founder of Algrano, a social network that connects coffee producers (farmers) with coffee buyers (roasters, coffee shops, etc). He was kind enough to grant me an interview and let me pick his brain for the better part of an hour.
To support Algrano, follow them on twitter and keep an eye out for some sort of surprise from them in the coming weeks. Listen to this week’s episode to get some context.
El Paso, Texas is at a tipping point. I’ve only been living here for about six months, but locals clued me into this fact within my first few weeks of being in town. In the last decade El Paso has joined the likes of Phoenix and Albuquerque as oases of culture and forward thinking in terms of art, music, and business in the southwest. While El Paso hasn’t reached the heights of hipsterness that you’ll find in Seattle or Portland, it has several hangout spots and restaurants where wearing tight jeans, carrying the latest technology, and listening to music you’ve probably never heard of feels very familiar.
While El Paso’s west side is largely considered the most trendy part of town, downtown has increasingly become an area of focus. The historic San Jacinto Plaza has been under renovations since July 2014 – a fact not lost on Miguel Veloz or Abel Baca, co-owners of the new El Paso Coffee Box.
The Coffee Box is right across the street from the mass of construction that will someday become the new-and-improved San Jacinto Plaza, on the corner of Mesa and Main st. I had the pleasure of attending the grand opening ceremony on April 29th, and Abel granted me a brief interview about why he believes The Coffee Box is important for El Paso.
The Coffee Box received a warm welcome from locals and media alike; I counted at least five separate video cameras from various news stations. After a brief speech, the masterminds behind El Paso’s newest coffee shop popped open champaign bottles and a DJ began spinning records in the background. It was following all of this fanfare that I was able to speak to Mr. Baca and ask him a few questions about The Coffee Box. Check out the short video below, then follow my interview with Abel below.
A video posted by The Coffee guy (@boisecoffee) on
Abel: Yes, this is my first business.
Did you start this business because you wanted to add something to El Paso, because you have a passion for coffee, or for some other reason?
I started this business because I realized that downtown is growing and developing. I know that once the plaza opens and gets built that it’s a perfect location for something like this – that’s why this specific area attracted me.
Okay, so why coffee?
Why coffee? I know that most everybody young and old love coffee. It’s basically the most consumed drug.
That’s a good point! I can’t argue with that.
So as far as the design of your coffee shop – I’m curious because it looks a lot like TI:ME, the center on the west side. Was it inspired at all by that?
Our main focus was using recycled materials, and the design developed from that starting point.
As a coffee consumer, I’m a little partial to pour-over coffee. Have you guys considered doing that, or are you going to stick with the espresso for now?
Yes, we are considering it and will probably switch to that method of brewing in the future.
If you’re interested in finding out more about The Coffee Box, you can visit their website, like their Facebook, or follow them on Instagram. They use locally roasted coffee from BLDG 6 coffee roasters, and I can personally say that it’s great stuff. Stay tuned for a full review down the line.