In 1999, Lloyd Bernhardt and Kim Schachte took a trip to Guatemala that changed their lives. While travelling to Guatemala to adopt their daughter Mia, Lloyd and Kim’s trip marked the couple’s first exposure to the world of coffee farming, and they returned with both an expanded family and the dream to create a coffee business that was both just, and better. Harnessing their passion for coffee and a desire to make the lives of coffee farmers better, the Ethical Bean Coffee Company was born. The rest, as they say, is history.
A lot has happened in the last ten years. In 2003, Lloyd was roasting all of Ethical Bean’s coffee himself on a 7-kilo roaster. Today, we have two full-time roasters working six days a week to oversee every 100lb batch that drops from our 45-kilo roaster.
As Ethical Bean Coffee has grown, we’ve been able to increase our support for a number of organizations near-and-dear to our hearts. Lloyd and Kim’s vision to be just. better.™ has led to thousands of dollars from coffee sales going to charities in Guatemala supporting education and children, and within Vancouver communities for adoptive families and social justice organizations. We continue to participate in, and support, hundreds of local events, auctions, and giveaways.
In honour of hitting the 10-year mark we’ve compiled some of our most notable accomplishments. It has been an amazing ten years!
- From 7 retail outlets in 2003, to 1,800 retailers in 2013! (Including retail outlets in Bermuda, the Grand Caymens, and China.)
- 2.8 million lbs of coffee roasted – that’s 18,765 batches!
- 9 billion beans, representing more than 4.5 billion hand-picked coffee cherries.
- Purchases from more than 60 Fairtrade certified co-operatives representing over 100,000 farmers (and their families and communities).
- Over $1.6 million paid in Fairtrade premiums to farmer-owned cooperatives.
- Over $12,000 raised for by diverting our waste with Lee Valley.
- More than 650 kids sent to school via Child-Aid in Guatemala.
- We were the first company to put a QR code on a grocery item to connect customers with the story of their beans from crop to cup.
- We’ve proudly supported the Vancouver International Film Festival, Theatre Under the Stars, Bike to Work Week, and many more as on-going sponsors!
- Our Director of Coffee, Aaron De Lazzer, was the first certified Q Grader in Canada in 2008, and continues to source the best Fairtrade and organic coffees available.
- We are proud to be fuelling Canada’s first two Fairtrade Campuses in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University!
None of any of the above would be possible if we didn’t have some of the greatest (and best-looking) coffee-drinking fans. Your word-of-mouth recommendations to friends, participation in our fundraising program, and support for what we do has been inspiring our work for years. You have demonstrated that it is possible to operate a business with a heart, and that serving amazing coffee without compromising social and environmental responsibility is in demand! Seriously, you’re the best.
From everyone at Ethical Bean Coffee, we raise our mugs to you. Cheers to the next ten years and beyond!