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I have always been really good at telling others to slow down and examine their life and the choices they’re making. I have always been really bad at taking this advice myself. I think we can all relate to the experience of the ever-expanding to-do list and a hectic, busy life. It is challenging to remember to stop and reflect on the moves you’re making while you’re busy making them. Every once in awhile, though, something prompts us to take another look at why we do what we do. I think this has been happening a lot in my life and a lot here at the Willy Street Co-op. My wife has speculated that I’m having an early mid-life crisis. Maybe it’s contagious.

Contagion or not, this re-examination of what we do and why has led us to take a deeper look at what we offer you from our Juice Bars. For many years, now, we have offered our Owners a selection of brewed coffees from Kickapoo Coffee and Just Coffee at the Willy East Juice Bar. At the Willy West Juice Bar we have always offered Equal Exchange Coffee and Just Coffee. Which illustrates the crux of the matter—why do we buy from three different coffee roasters for our brewed and espresso offerings? Furthermore, why do we offer different ones at each store? Don’t we want Owners to get the same coffee regardless of which side of town they’re on? Did we mean for this to happen, or did it just...happen? We have lots of theories and possible explanations. We just don’t remember!

Brewed Just Coffee
Well, we’re making another move—to simply Just Coffee beans for brewing and pulling shots in our Juice Bars. We have loved supporting Equal Exchange and Kickapoo Coffee at our Juice Bars and we have many passionate Owners and co-workers who will miss their offerings brewed fresh and hot each day. Never fear! We will continue to support both roasters in the grocery aisles with sales of bags or bulk beans. In the Juice Bars, however, beginning this month, you will find selections from just...Just Coffee.
In the esteemed words of television salespeople everywhere, “but, that’s not all!” One benefit of this coffee consolidation is that we are going to pass some savings on to you! That’s right, it’s actually more cost effective for us to buy from just...I’m not going to do it again...one roaster. If you buy Just Coffee beans from the grocery aisles, you’re probably used to seeing a handful of them on sale each month. Your Juice Bars will feature these same roasts while they’re on sale so that more of you will have an opportunity to see how amazing Just Coffee’s beans can be!

About Just Coffee
A group of us recently stopped in to Just Coffee’s new(ish) facility over on Orin Road. We tasted a few excellent roasts in their tasting room as they shared with us some of the newest endeavors they have been pursuing. More than a few years ago, Just Coffee became a cooperatively worker-owned business. If you want to know even more about what this means, you should check out justcoffee.coop. Also, Lynn Olson, our former Director of Cooperative Services, wrote a great Producer Profile article about our JC friends back in 2009 that you can find at www.willystreet.coop/reader/just-coffee. They have always had a commitment to working with coffee grower cooperatives that work as they do—democratically for the greater good of the group. Historically, they have built most of their partnerships in South America and Latin America, but recently and through their partnership with Co-op Coffees (see them at www.coopcoffees.coop) they have branched out into Africa and Southeast Asia to build new partnerships with grower co-ops in those regions. One exciting new partnership is with CPC, a grower’s co-op in southern Laos. A co-worker made a pot of this single origin roast at the office a few weeks ago and we all swooned. We are looking forward to seeing more come out of these new partnerships.

Just Coffee folks like to say to me that we’re their local co-op and, even though they’re in 87% of U.S. grocery co-ops, that it’s critical that they support us. Well, I guess this move to serve them and their well-sourced, well-roasted beans is our way to say they are our local co-op, and that it’s critical that we support them. Thanks for having us, JC.

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