It happens every year… – By Marianne Pemberton


You guessed it – another year is over.  As we roll into the next twelve months it is impossible not to look back and reflect on what proved to be another fabulous year at Ethical Bean. As a newer member of the Ethical Bean team I experienced some of the following highlights first hand but also had to dig deep into the psyche of my colleagues to find the earlier memorable moments of 2011.

The cast and crew of Ethical Bean are grateful for to all those who shared in our adventures in 2011 and we hope everyone who joined us had just as much fun as we did. So, without further ado, I bring you Ethical Bean’s year in review!

Events Events Events!

Ethical Bean had the great pleasure of supporting local organizations doing great work in and around Vancouver throughout 2011. We continued our partnerships with Theatre Under the Stars, the Vancouver International Film Festival, Eco-Fashion Week, Creative Mix, and the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (just to name a few), and are looking forward to working with Edible Communities and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra into the 2012. We feel so fortunate to be in a city with so many exciting, creative, and diverse events happening all year, and are thrilled to participate in our vibrant community. If you see us out and about please stop by, introduce yourself, and indulge in a coffee – even if it is after 3:00pm!


2011 has also been the year of the doughnut for Ethical Bean and for Vancouverites! January saw the release of the world’s first Fairtrade Certified Organic doughnut, which was honoured with “Most Innovative Fairtrade Product” by Fair Trade Vancouver at the end of the year. The timing of the doughnut launch was particularly exciting for those of us furiously waving green and blue towels through last winter. As the Canucks inched closer and closer to the big game Ethical Bean had the whole team with icing bags in hand getting our Game Day doughnuts ready for the masses. I, for one, am crossing my fingers for similar chaos in 2012! Keep those towels waving!

Farther away

While our location here in Vancouver makes it easy to work locally, we also put a lot of time and effort in across Canada, North America, and internationally. This summer we were thrilled to see our own Ethical Bean barista Amy head off to Guatemala to volunteer with our partner organization Project Somos. She blogged all about her experiences to keep us, and you, informed of her escapades, and we all lived vicariously through her blogs as she got to the know the residents in Tecpen. We also sent donations and support to organizations in Calgary, Boulder, and to our other Guatemalan partner organization, Child-Aid. Thanks to all of you for supporting Ethical Bean throughout the year. These donations wouldn’t be possible without each and every one of you.

Great coffee

We were thankful for a great year in coffee to continue filling your bags with the best Fairtrade Organic certified beans we can find. Thanks to the hard work of Aaron (Director of Coffee) and Jason (Production Manager), our team created the most spectacular of flavour profiles to dance across your tongue throughout 2011. Importing green coffees from Peru, Ethiopia, Honduras, and Mexico (to name a few!), the cupping table was always busy in our coffee lab. Remember, you can always learn where the coffee beans in your bag are from by scanning the square QR code on the bag or entering the Lot # on our website. We work year-round to make sure you not only have the best coffee we can find, but also have the information you’re curious about right in your hands.

Fighting tragedy with teamwork

This year saw tremendous challenges for a co-op close to our hearts. A landslide cost the ASOBAGRI coffee co-operative a substantial amount of land, infrastructure, and lives in September. Thankfully good news emerged by the end of December as ASOBAGRI announced they had begun to rebuild. Ethical Bean, JJ Bean, and a number of retail and roasting partners organized a fundraising campaign in November to contribute in their time of need, and we are so happy and relieved to hear that things are starting to look a little more promising for the co-op. Thanks so much to everyone who joined the campaign and contributed through barista donations or link sharing online.

Into 2012

Ethical Bean has a lot to look forward to in 2012. We’re excited about potentially expanding our reach into new markets, which also means helping to create a greater demand for Fairtrade Organic coffee in our supplying countries.

Of course, as we move forward we’re always keeping those who make it all possible close to our hearts. We have loved working for and alongside you – our spectacular reader, coffee lover, and doughnut enthusiast – over the course of the year. We really hope that everyone who joined us in the journey in 2011 had just as much fun as we did, and we thank you for coming along on the adventure! Let’s see what this next year has in store!


Happy New Year and best wishes from the cast and crew at Ethical Bean!


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