At Swing’s Coffee, we pursue a progressive model to purchase green coffee, one that gives more visibility in the supply chain, allows us to forge relationships with producers, affect social and environmental change, and reward quality. Home Grown is: Working with producing families and individual coffee growers who also seek “Relationship Commerce” Purchasing from producers who reinvest in quality with an emphasis on sustainable agricultural techniques Supporting families and communities at origin with social enterprise and non-profit partners Traceability and accountability throughout the supply chain Forging long-term relationships based on trust and communication Home Grown Initiative is the starting place in our expanding efforts to source coffee more responsibly and transitioning all of our green coffee purchases to this sustainable model. Since enacting this program in 2013, we have grown our relationships, commitments and dedication to this model and the stake-holders we work with from 18% to nearly 85%. Be on the look out for new relationships in 2017 as we close the gap to 100%. DOWNLOAD Home Grown Info Sheet
After sourcing, roasting and preparing the best coffees we can find, we recognize that used coffee grounds still have tremendous value, specifically as a great ingredient to any compost system. We're passionate about compost at Swing's, and it was our intention that once we opened our newest brew bar and roasting facility in Alexandria, VA in 2013, we would make freely available all of our used coffee for the community to take and use in their systems. The result is that almost all of our used coffee gets a second life in a garden or flower bed or bar of soap. One of our favorite partners in this endeavor is Common Ground City Farm, located in the District of Columbia. Throughout each week, a volunteer comes to pick up used coffee for compost. We're proud to support Common Ground in their efforts to grow food, educate, and help low-income DC community members meet their food needs. In 2013, Common Ground delivered 5,200 pounds of fresh vegetables to low-income residents in their efforts to combat poverty and food deserts. CGCF uses a system based on modified windrows, developed with assistance from Darren Joffe of Farmer D. It involves sizeable piles of soil, food waste, and straw, built up in layers. It requires some space, but it can take in up to 450 lbs of food waste a month, and produces usable compost in about three months! Adding woodchips, newspaper or other “browns” to the compost is critical to the compost bin working. Your food waste (“greens”) provides nitrogen to the compost, while these “browns” provide carbon. A 1:3 nitrogen to carbon ratio allows the compost to get hot and break down the [...]
We are sourcing some of the best coffees we can find from around the world. And knowing how much care goes into a single bean, we sought the same care for the ingredients that go into our drinks. We accomplish this by partnering with Trickling Springs Creamery who buys milk from local, family farms that take the best care of their animals and land. These happy cows get all the sunshine and free grass they want during the growing season and are not pushed in growth or production by synthetic hormones. Come in and taste the difference! (quoted from the Trickling Springs Creamery website) 2330 Molly Pitcher Hwy. Chambersburg, PA 717.709.0711 Partner Link: http://www.tricklingspringscreamery.com
Walk into our cafes and you’ll notice two things about the furnishings: We like old stuff and fine craftsmanship. More importantly, though, we love to re-purpose and salvage useful things that others may do away with. So when we look to source furniture and fixtures for our cafes, we turn to the salvage masters, Housewerks. For more than a decade they have spent their days gutting buildings all over the Mid-Atlantic region searching for decorative, delicate and useful pieces. With their eye and expertise, we salvaged several pieces that have been used throughout the Del Ray Coffee Bar to complete its historic industrialized look. 1415 Bayard St, Baltimore, MD 410.685.8047 Partner Link: http://www.housewerksalvage.com/
Issue Date: SCR - January 2014, Posted On: 1/14/2014 Staff Training: Serving up Success By Melissa Niksic It doesn’t matter if your coffee shop has an amazing house blend, or the best latte in town. If the service at your location is subpar, your customers will remember that and nothing else. At any establishment, staff members are performing right at the front lines, making an immediate impression on guests. Locations that invest in both initial and ongoing training opportunities are often those whose customers experience the best overall service. Whether you oversee the training process yourself, utilize web-based or other interactive platforms to maximize employee engagement, or bring in an external consulting team to assist, it’s essential that your operation have a strategic training plan in place. Training begins before day one Many retailers assume that staff training starts the first day an employee arrives on the job. However, many industry professionals say that owners and managers should begin thinking about training before they even embark on the hiring process. Consider what types of people are most likely to thrive in your retail environment. Those are the people you want to make sure to hire in the first place: the ones who will fit in and be successful. Louisa Graves is the co-owner of CoffeeTrainers.com, a Los Angeles-based company that offers barista training, one-on-one consultations, store design advice, and general staff training to coffee retailers. She suggests that retailers have staff training in mind during the initial stages of the employee hiring phase. “Make sure you hire engaging people,” Graves says. “You want your staff members to be friendly, welcoming, and able to effectively engage with your customers so those customers turn into repeat customers.” For many coffee [...]
Why Mr. Rude had to go hating on burlap is really beyond us. We quite like it, and we keep thinking of new uses for it: re-upholster an ottoman; cut out the art work and frame it; use it as a comfy spot for your pooch, or bury it in the garden to prevent weeds from growing up. The point is that we go through a lot of burlap and will never throw it away or sell it. It’s free for the taking at our Alexandria roasting facility. Stop by and pick some up, it’s sitting right by the front door.