Vermont Coffee Roasters

December Celebrations

December is always an exciting month for the Train Station and Visitor Center! We have some very special promotions this month!

We have started up our Ski and Ride with The Point promotion. It’s $5.00 per packet. You get a booklet of coupons and a button that gets you 50% off a day pass at a number of local ski resorts on specified days. Coming up in January, we have the following resorts; January 3rd Jay Peak, January 10th Sugarbush, January 17th Mad River Glen, January 24th Smuggler’s Notch, January 26th Trapp Family Lodge and January 31st Burke Mountain Resort. The best part about this promotion is it has places you actually want to ski! Don’t forget to grab a packet next time you’re in.

We also have begun Revitalizing Waterbury’s Wrap It Up & Win punch cards. Visit any of the participating businesses (including the Train Station and Factory Outlet) once a day to receive a punch on your card. Once you have five and have filled it up, turn it in at The Tiny Acorn, Bridgeside Books or Sunflower Natural Foods to be entered in a drawing for some fantastic prizes. If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll win our $75.00 gift certificate to the Train Station and Factory Outlet!

 Our holiday spirit doesn’t stop there either! We’ve also started collecting for the Good Neighbor Fund of Waterbury Vermont. Donate any amount to add a decoration to our holiday tree in the coffee museum. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters will match all donations! We’re hoping to fill the branches of our tree once again this year.

Stop over before the holiday season has passed! Grab a Seasonal Supreme to warm you up and support your local Vermont Community with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters!

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Welcoming a Foodinista to the Train Station

Meet Shoshana!

We have a new staff member on board at the Train Station! We’d like to introduce Shoshana Frieden (second from the left)! She moved here from northern California and started here in the café early September.

Why come to our little slice of Vermont?  Green Mountain Coffee Roaster’s socially conscious standards and innovation really caught her attention. She is from a long line of chefs and is a true foodinista with a taste for quality coffee, cheerfully saying,

“If I was on an island, one of the food groups I’d request would be coffee."

She is thrilled to be able to help people from around the country think outside of the coffee bag and experiment with their beverage choices. She is already contributing greatly to the team.

Make sure you stop in and say, "Hello!" She would be happy to dream up a drink for you!

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Harvesting with Vermont Youth Conservation Corps

GMCR Employees Volunteering at VYCC (Photo by Kristopher Crown)

                                      (Photo by GMCR Employee Kristopher Crown)

Recently a group of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR) employees spent the day at one of our grantees Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) to harvest, wash, and pack fresh vegetables from the VYCC gardens in Richmond, Vermont to support a commonly shared goal – food security for all.

The employees worked to harvest enough onions, carrots, dill, basil, eggplant, garlic, cilantro, tomatoes, and other fresh vegetables to fill 230 boxes for the VYCC’s weekly Health Care Share. Through the Health Care Share in-season food is donated to families that don’t have access to locally grown fresh food.  Health Care Shares are distributed weekly from VYCC to area hospitals from July through September.

Volunteering at the VYCC gave our employees an appreciation for how much work it takes to get food from the ground onto the table. Without the help of volunteers, the VYCC could not donate the amount of food they do now. 

When employees volunteer for organizations that we support through our Employee Community Grant Program it results in more meaningful relationships with these local nonprofit organizations.

Watch the video below to learn more about Vermont Youth Conservation Corps' work:

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Wrapping Up River Cleanup: What We Didn't Expect to Find

Last week marked Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.'s (GMCR) ninth annual Vermont River Cleanup event. After several days of removing trash, canoeing down the river, and getting sufficiently covered in mud, over 250 Vermont-based GMCR employees successfully removed hundreds of tires and endless amounts of trash from the Winooski River.

Last year, GMCR volunteers removed almost 1,000 tires from the Winooski River during the five day event, which took place a year after Hurricane Irene devastated Vermont. This year, volunteers were shocked to see that only a year later, there was still an abundance of trash and tires to be removed once again. On the first day alone, 120 tires were removed from the water and banks of the Winooski River.

Among the expected trash that was found, volunteers also removed some other strange items from the murky waters. When I made my way down to the river to check out the action, I was surprised to see some of these obscure items surfacing. Among them was…

  • A muddy and beat up orange traffic cone
  • A long lost doll who had definitely seen better days
  • A few rusty hub caps
  • A ceiling fan that only held on to one blade
  • A red baby swing
  • A very soggy and very muddy sleeping bag
  • A broken white plastic lawn chair
  • A window screen
  • Plenty of old shoes with no pair

This list is a mere snapshot of the variety of items that were pulled from the river this week. GMCR employee’s dedication to helping their local communities shines through during the week of River Cleanup. The Winooski River is cleaner and clearer thanks to the employees who took time out of their days to jump in canoes and dig through the mud and water last week.
 

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Meet A New Face at the Visitors Center and Cafe

Meet Julia at the Train Station

We would like to introduce a new face in the Train Station! Meet Julia Garufi. We are proud to have her as a part of our talented team. She isn’t as new as she may seem though.

Back in June 1983, Julia worked at the original Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and Café in Waitsfield, Vermont. She worked under Patty Vincent (you know, Patty on our Coffee Team, right?) as a barista.

As Julia recalls, things were a little different back then. They roasted right on site in the café. Wholesale roasting was done at what is now our Factory Outlet here in Waterbury. They would roast into large bins and everything was hand bagged except for frac packs (those little sealed pouches of coffee) which had a special machine to seal them closed. There was also another retail facility in the Winooski Mill in Winooski, Vermont and in Portland, Maine. Overall, it was quite the memorable experience for her. Memorable enough to bring her to us. Seeing how socially aware and employee friendly the company managed to be despite its growth and size, Julia decided to come back to where it all began and now works with us here in the Train Station!

Stop in sometime and say hello to Julia! Ask her about the original café or just visit for a cup of Green Mountain Coffee®. We look forward to your visit!

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A New Special Reserve Coffee that Offers Sweet Rewards

Green Mountain Coffee® is pleased to announce the arrival of an exquisite Special Reserve coffee: Costa Rica Finca El Quizarrá White Honey. Available only in bags for a limited time, this unique coffee is grown in the rich, volcanic soil of Costa Rica and is produced using a unique method called “honey processing.” More on that in a bit.

First, the tasting notes from our Coffee Department: “The natural sweetness of the white honey process shines through in velvety, concentrated flavors of blood orange and plum. With a rounded acidity, the taste is delicate and bright, featuring an undertone of buttery brown sugar. The finish resonates with soft tannins and notes of red currant and white grape.”

(They have a pretty sweet job, don’t they?)

So what is this “honey process” and what difference does it make in the coffee? I’m so glad you asked. There are lots of ways in which coffee beans can be processed. While most are either “washed” (all layers of the coffee cherry is removed before the beans are dried) or “natural” (the fruit is left intact during the drying process), many farms are exploring variations on both these approaches in order to coax out intriguing and more nuanced flavors from their coffee beans.

With honey washed coffee, the skin of the coffee cherry is removed, but parts of the fruit are left on to varying degrees. White honey processing – the approach used by Finca El Quizarrá, the farm that produces the beans for this Special Reserve coffee – is closest to a fully washed coffee. That is, just 25% of the fruit remains, specifically the thick, honey-like layer that protects the beans. The result is a coffee that has the characteristically clean and bright flavors of a washed coffee, but a more pronounced sweetness imparted by the natural sugars of the fruit.

To further enhance the sweetness, the folks at Finca El Quizarrá hand-pick only the most mature cherries for pressing. Once pressed, the beans are sun dried on open-air patios and then fully dried mechanically in order to obtain precise humidity levels. Finally, the coffee rests on parchment in wood cellars for a few months prior to being dry milled. Once that’s done, the “green” beans are shipped to Vermont where the master roasters at Green Mountain Coffee® will work their magic, and package it up for you.

And me. I can’t wait to get my hands on some.

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Preventing Cervical Cancer in Coffee Communities

Grounds for Health is a non-profit organization based in Waterbury, Vermont that focuses on cervical cancer prevention awareness. Cervical cancer remains the #1 cause of cancer related death for women in low-resource settings, although it is nearly 100% preventable. In October 2011, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters awarded Grounds for Health a three-year grant totaling $900,000 to support projects in collaboration with coffee cooperatives in Nicaragua, Mexico, Tanzania and Peru to tackle the dangerously high rate of cervical cancer in these regions.

Grounds for Health has been able to reach women without access to appropriate health services and by partnering with local organizations. They train local community health promoters as well as provide local doctors and nurses with equipment and technical assistance.

Grounds for Health’s efforts are part of a growing movement worldwide to prevent cervical cancer and increase awareness on prevention methods.

Grounds from Health unveiled the video below at the Specialty Coffee Association of America's Conference in April:

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Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Named Business Leader in Energy Efficiency

Photo of GMCR's Plant in Essex, VT (Photo by Alex Eshelman)

(Photo by Alex Eshelman)

We are proud to share that we've has been named a 2013 “Northeast Business Leader for Energy Efficiency”.  We were nominated by Efficiency Vermont, and are being honored for our efforts that reduced our yearly energy costs by more than $725,000. The award is given annually by Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP), a non-profit energy efficiency advocacy organization, to highlight the energy-saving achievements of organizations throughout the region.

“We are proud to recognize GMCR for their success and commitment to energy efficiency,” said Sue Coakley, Executive Director of NEEP. “GMCR provides an excellent example of how energy saving investments can improve a company’s bottom line, contribute to economic growth, and reduce environmental impact.”

We were selected for recognition for our efficient approaches to lighting, heating, cooling, ventilation, and industrial process equipment in its Waterbury, Essex, and Williston plants and for construction of our facility in South Burlington. In addition, we are being honored for our ongoing monitoring of energy use, to maintain continuous awareness of building and equipment performance.

“GMCR has shown a strong commitment to energy efficiency – not just in its buildings but also in every facet of its operations,” said Jim Merriam, Director of Efficiency Vermont. “We are proud to be a longstanding partner of GMCR, and we look forward to supporting their continuing innovation and success.”

“Our exceptional growth rate over the past five years has provided us with a great opportunity to create systems and buildings that are both functional and energy efficient,” said Mick Muscat, Facilities Engineering Manager for GMCR. “We are extremely fortunate that the company supports these dual objectives. With this support, we are able to significantly increase our energy efficiency.”

We will be recognized, along with winners from neighboring states, in Springfield, Massachusetts on June 18-19, 2013 at the Northeast Energy Efficiency Summit. The gathering brings together regional leaders in public policy, business, energy efficiency, and consumer and environmental advocacy to advance energy efficiency as the leading clean energy resource for the Northeast.

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Rebuilding a Primary Health Care System in Rural Mexico

 

Doctor with Patient in Chiapas

Below is an except from Partners In Health around their and sister organization Compañeros En Salud (CES) work in southeast Chiapas. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc, (GMCR) is funding this project to revitalize a primary health care system in the long-neglected region.

" “I didn’t know what to expect,” Dr. Abelardo Vidaurreta says. “I didn’t know where I was going.”

Such uncertainties were rare for the 27 year old. But after finishing medical school at Tecnológico De Monterrey, an elite university that produces some of Mexico’s finest physicians, Vidaurreta ditched the urban commodities he was accustomed to and went to work with Partners In Health’s sister organization Compañeros En Salud (CES) in southeast Chiapas. It’s among the poorest and most isolated regions in Mexico, nestled at the tip of the country along the Guatemalan border. 

The move wasn’t entirely impulsive. In Mexico, newly graduated medical students are required to spend a year working in a public health clinic to earn their professional license. Often they’re assigned to far-flung outposts with few resources and even less oversight. This baptism-by-fire approach can be overwhelming. It can also be frustrating, especially for the community members who are left seeking medical care from a rotating cast of fresh-faced doctors who’ll stick around for only a year. 

Vidaurreta had heard of CES when his social service year arrived, but he didn’t know much about the group, let alone its plans to revitalize a primary health care system in a long-neglected region. Doubts loomed when he agreed last February to be among the first doctors to spend a year working alongside CES in Chiapas.

“I thought I was going into the jungle,” Vidaurreta says. “I thought I was going to be alone.”

Now, as CES—whose work is supported by Vermont-based Green Mountain Coffee Roasters—celebrates its first anniversary and more than 10,000 patient consultations, Vidaurreta jokes that he was wrong on both counts. The landscape is more Martian than jungle, marked by towering mountains and a startling lack of infrastructure. And while he would encounter countless challenges in the field, he wasn’t going to be tackling them alone.  A core mission of CES is to alleviate that daunting sense of solitude by pairing the new doctors, known as pasantes, with resident physicians from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. 

“They’re doing all the work,” says Dr. Patrick Newman, 29, one of the first resident physicians from Brigham and Women’s to take part in the program. “But we see their consults with them, answer their questions, help guide their thinking, help to challenge their thinking, and encourage their ongoing growth.” Newman is quick to point out that the exchange of insight flows both ways. For instance, he recalls visiting a family whose newborn had a cleft palate. His instinct was to hospitalize the baby, insert a feeding tube, and perform surgery when the child reached an appropriate weight—standard procedure in the U.S. 

“That was my first suggestion. But it was obvious after talking with the pasante and visiting the family that doing so would result in absolute and total financial ruin for the family,” Newman says.  “You have to understand that there are cultural aspects to care that the pasantes are going to understand better than we ever will.”

In the area where CES works, patients might travel more than an hour for a simple blood test. Getting to a hospital could take half a day. And though there are brick-and-mortar clinics, it’s been years in most cases since a full-fledged physician has staffed one. To make sure the pasantes are equipped to provide the best possible care in this difficult setting, they receive monthly visits from CES staff and attend regular workshops.In the area where CES works, patients might travel more than an hour for a simple blood test. Getting to a hospital could take half a day. And though there are brick-and-mortar clinics, it’s been years in most cases since a full-fledged physician has staffed one. To make sure the pasantes are equipped to provide the best possible care in this difficult setting, they receive monthly visits from CES staff and attend regular workshops."

To read the full article with images, visit Partners In Health's website

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The Cafe Staff Goes to Source

Missy at Source

At the Green Mountain Coffee® Café and Visitor Center we enjoy sharing experiences with the community.  Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. provides employees an opportunity to visit coffee growing communities on source trips. This gives us the chance to see where the process of tree to cup begins and meet the farmers who produce the very same coffee we roast everyday.

In December, my coworker Michele was given the opportunity to go to Nicaragua with fellow employees in the company, including east coast to west coast American and Canadian teammates.  Not only did she have the chance to meet and create bonds with the farmers who influence our lives even here in Vermont, but she had the chance to get to know people within the company she may not have had a chance to meet otherwise.

In February two of our coworkers, Christiane and Joshua, had the chance to travel with members of the International Woman’s Coffee Alliance to Guatemala. The International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) strives to create a difference in the world of coffee. With a mission to “empower women in the international coffee community to achieve meaningful and sustainable lives; and to encourage and recognize the participation of women in all aspects of the coffee industry,” the IWCA, from its inception, has remained focused on promoting possibilities for women in coffee communities throughout the world.  

After our trips to our coffee growing regions we, as a whole department in the Green Mountain Coffee Café and Visitor Center, found a deep respect for the people in our supply chain. We created long lasting bonds with our coffee growing communities and our international team members who keep this company running strong.  The in-depth opportunity to see and experience the tree to cup experience and have the chance to share with our community has given a life changing view of the coffee sitting in our cups.

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Employee Source Trip to Costa Rica 2013

   
Luis Campos from Altura de San Ramon, with Laurent and Winston looking on
Manuel Antonio Quiros, the coffee farming, car repairing bonsai gardener.

It is easy to imagine how nice it is to go to Costa Rica in January especially if you are leaving behind a climate that includes a down jacket and snow shovel.  Every year employees get to leave their home climates to go on source trips to warm coffee producing countries, like Costa Rica.  And that's what I first got to do in 1996.  I was a trainer in what would now be called Continuous Learning and our 'classrooms' were in the old Java U in Waterbury, VT.   The building was torn down years ago and very few remember the building, but I'll never forget the day my boss and her boss asked me to follow them into one of the classrooms to tell me I was selected to go on the employee trip to Costa Rica.

Fast forward to 2013 and I have led four trips to Costa Rica (15 in total between there and Mexico) and I never get tired of bringing employees there.  One of my favorite groups to visit in Costa Rica is Altura de San Ramon in San Ramon.  One reason is Luis Campos (upper left), their General Manager, who I adore and admire.  He's been to Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. in Vermont many times sporting his leather hat, soft spoken manner, and just plain tallness.  As well as a coffee farmer and cattle rancher Luis runs the Association of more than 500 farmers.  Another reason it is a favorite group to visit is the other friends we have made over time there, like Manuel Antonio Quiros (bottom), who has also been here before. Manuel is a coffee farmer, but also runs a car repair garage and dabbles in bonsai.

This year instead of going to Luis' house like we usually do, we went to Sergio Hernandez's farm for a short tour and snacks made by his wife Martha.  Sergio is a coffee farmer but he also raises day old chicks to sell to chicken farms that raise them for fried chicken and broilers.  He proudly pointed out that those little chickens gross him $90,000 per year.  When we got to the top of the hill full of coffee trees, he pointed out (again not without a certain amount of pride) the coffee farms that his many sons own.  It was at the end of the day, and I can't tell you exquisite the light was; it was the kind of light that has no humidity to it, no bugs to it, just light and fresh air, and warmth (upper right).  It’s the kind of view and company that encompasses how the employee source trips make people feel.

 

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Honoring Our Troops this Veteran's Day

Today, we honor those who have served in our military. 

Veteran's Day is a day when Americans pay tribute to those who who have served.

 

Here at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. we too honor our soldiers. As I’m sure many of you have heard from service men and women is the importance of coffee while in the field; especially good coffee. It is a comfort from home and a small luxury while on duty.

That is why we donate thousands of pounds of coffee to troops serving Afghanistan every year. We work with a great organization called Holy Joe’s Café, that provides coffee in a café setting at bases in Afghanistan. Soldiers can go to the cafés for spiritual guidance from the Chaplains, listen to music on open mic nights, or just enjoy a great cup of Green Mountain Coffee’s Dark Magic.

When our very own Vermont National Guard deployed to Afghanistan, we knew that the comforts from Vermont that they would miss would include maple syrup and Green Mountain Coffee. Again, working with Holy Joe’s Café, every Vermont National Guard Chaplain has received coffee which will find its way into the hands of the Green Mountain Boys.

Thank you Holy Joe’s for helping us make an impact in our soldiers’ lives as they make a sacrifice for us. 

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You’re Invited to a Newman’s Own® Organics Coffee Tasting on Monday!

Did you know next Saturday is National Coffee Day?  For us, that means this week is an invitation to embrace our java joy and revel in our roasts as we work up to the ultimate celebration.  So, what better way to start the work week than to sip Newman’s Own® Organics coffee with Nell Newman? 

Did we mention you’re invited, too?

Newman’s Own Organics has a lot of proud partners: Green Mountain Coffee® is proud to source and roast a line of world-changing, Fair Trade Certified™ coffees for our friends at Newman's Own Organics and New England McDonald’s are proud to serve this exceptional coffee every day in most of its restaurants.  So, we’re sharing that pride with fans who love this coffee with a live virtual tasting.

Here are the details:

 

  • WHAT: Newman’s Own Organics Coffee Tasting with McDonalds; live and interactive!
  • WHEN: This Monday, September 24, 2012, 10:00 to 10:30 AM EST
  • WHO: You and Nell Newman, Lindsey Bolger, GMCR’s Senior Director of Coffee, and Wayne Lebrun and Lou Provenzano, owner/operators from McDonald’s in New England. 
  • WHERE: From the comforts of your computer on Livestream.com/VermontLive for you; Live from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.’s Coffee Lounge, in Waterbury, Vermont for us

 

If you want to taste along with us, follow the conversation, or ask a question of the tasters, follow @McDEasternNE  and #McDCoffeeChat on Twitter.

 

Chat with you soon!

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3rd Annual Tennessee River Rescue with Ijams Nature Center

Volunteerism is an integral part of our Corporate Social Responsibility programs. Every full-time employee can take up to 52-hours of paid time-off to volunteer for an non-profit organization they are passionate about (learn more on how we support local communities).

A company tradition in Vermont has been to cleanup one of the nearby rivers as part of American River’s National River Cleanup. In Vermont, we’ve been organizing a River Cleanup on the Winooski River since 2005. As our volunteerism program has expanded to other employee locations, so has the tradition of an annual River Cleanup.

GMCR Employees Volunteer Tennessee RiverKnoxville River Rescue

In early April, employees from our Knoxville, TN facility, with help from Ijams Nature Center (also a Green Mountain Coffee Roasters grant recipient) participated in their 3rd annual River Rescue cleanup event on the Tennessee River. In total, 149 volunteers over the course of two days collected 452 bags of trash, 20 tires, 6 shopping carts, a conveyor belt, a bicycle, a gas tank, a metal “man” cut-out, rugs, ropes and numerous other items. The approximate weight of the bagged trash was approximately 8,100 lbs!

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It Begins at Home: Protecting Lake Champlain and Winooski River from Pollution Runoff

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. recently awarded Lake Champlain International (LCI) a grant to support LCI's continued work to protect the waters, fish, homes and businesses of Lake Champlain and the Winooski River. This grant is part of our Employee Community Grant program, which provides grants to organizations and projects that are located around our employee communities. Funded projects address specific issues aligned with environmental stewardship, strong local systems, and economic prosperity.

LCI's BLUE® program is an innovative community-based program to help reduce beach closures, decrease potentially toxic algae blooms, protect fish and wildlife, and improve the safety of homes, lawns, and driveways. LCI's

Lake Champlain International Logo

 BLUE® program has previously been offered to residents of the Vermont towns Colchester, Winooski, and Shelburne.

Through this grant, LCI's BLUE® program will be made available to residents of Waterbury, VT enabling Waterbury residents to reduce the amount of water pollution runoff that starts on their lawns and in their homes.

"GMCR employees have a special connection to the Winooski River and have engaged in annual clean-up efforts on the river for years. The grant to LCI to bring their BLUE® Certification program to Waterbury is a natural extension of our relationship and commitment to the river and represents our desire to support a key organization working to keep our waterways healthy and productive for future generations," said Karen Yacos, GMCR's Director of Domestic Community Outreach.

At no cost to the residents of Waterbury, LCI will offer brief and simple property evaluations to homeowners and owners of rental properties.  At the end of each evaluation, the homeowner can have their home certified as watershed friendly, or BLUE®, if they agree to follow a handful of simple practices.  Certifications are free of charge as well.    

Also available are mini-grants for homeowners of up to $200 per property for the first 30 participating properties to build and install water pollution prevention property improvements.  Improvements include rain gardens, rain barrels, gutters over driveways, downspout redirects, dripline trenches, and similar features.

"The grant from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. will help reduce water pollution far upstream the Winooski River and reduce toxins like lawn pesticides in the town and around homes" said Ross Saxton, LCI's Director of Conservation & Education.  "This is a terrific opportunity for Waterbury residents to help protect their river, community, and home values."


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Supporting Healthy Rivers and Lakes in Vermont

 

At Green Mountain Coffee Roasters,  Inc. (GMCR) we are dedicated to improving the sustainability and quality of life of the communities where GMCR employees live and work. We’re implementing Employee Community Grant Programs at all our locations. Each site will have their own granting focus – as each community has unique needs.  One of the focus areas for our Vermont Employee Community is clean water, healthy rivers, lakes and shorelines. The Intervale Conservation Nursery’s mission aligns directly with that focus .

The Nursery works to restore and conserve riparian zones to protect Vermont’s waterways and Lake Champlain from agricultural runoff and pollution. This past fall, the Vermont Employee Community Grant eam, reviewed and awarded the Intervale Conservation Nursery a grant. With this grant the Nursery will increase their outreach and complete two restoration projects along local rivers. Planting native trees and shrubs along a stream bank create buffers that help prevent pollution in rain runoff from entering rivers and lakes. Every time it rains, runoff collects pollutants from roads, cars, agricultural fields and other sources, and washes this unfiltered water into the waterways. The Intervale Conservation Nursery’s lantings help trap and filter sediment and pollution before it enters Vermont’s waterways. The first planting took place along the Winooski River in the Intervale Center itself. GMCR employee volunteers and Conservation Nursery staff planted over 50 container trees. This spring the Nursery and GMCR volunteers will plant an estimated 700 trees and shrubs along the Winooski River in Waterbury. In addition to these two restoration projects, the Nursery grows and provides locally-grown vegetation to conservation projects all over the state of Vermont. We’re proud to support the important work of protecting Vermont’s waterways.

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Grounds For Health Continues and Expands Work in Coffee-Growing Communities

Yesterday, Grounds for Health announced that they will be able to further develop their existing cervical cancer prevention programs in Nicaragua, Mexico, and Tanzania, and expand its program into Peru thanks to a three-year $900,000 grant from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. We've supported the Vermont-based non-profit through past grants as well as through the annual Grounds For Health Carwash. We're excited to continue to support Grounds For Health's efforts to establish sustainable and effective cervical cancer prevention and treatment programs in coffee-growing communities.

The announcement of this grant is particularly meaningful as January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. August Burns, the Executive Director of Grounds For Health says "It’s important to recognize that the greatest cancer killer of women in developing countries worldwide is cervical cancer, despite it being nearly 100% preventable".

“We are proud to contribute to Grounds for Health’s important work in coffee-growing communities,” says Colleen Bramhall, GMCR Coffee Community Outreach January is Cervical Cancer Awareness MonthManager. “The partnerships Grounds for Health forges with coffee cooperatives help break down barriers that stand between women and the care they need. We are proud of the accomplishments of our Waterbury neighbor and look forward to continuing our collaboration.” 

In the words of Fatima Ismael, cervical cancer survivor and general manager of the Soppexcca coffee cooperative, a long-time partner of both companies, “I think until my last breath, I will be eternally grateful for what [Grounds for Health] has done for us.” You can find out more information on Grounds for Health on their webpage, Facebook or Twitter.

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Giving Thanks For...

Every year on the blog, we step back and give thanks.  Thanks for our families.  Thanks for our friends.  Thanks for the air we breathe and the coffee we drink.  We step back and think about the hard times and the triumphant times.  The silly and the delicious.  We take a moment to take a moment, and hope that you do the same with us.  So, without further ado, our thanks:

Laura: I am thankful to work with smart, passionate colleagues who care deeply about their work and the impact we have on the world around us.

Mike: Easy…I am more grateful than I could ever express for the presence of our little boy Zeke – a miracle baby born March 5th, 2011.

John: I am thankful for so many things. I am thankful that my house did not experience any damage during Hurricane Irene, my heart goes out to the Vermonters that are still putting their lives back together. I am thankful for family and friends who offer their love and support.  I am thankful for my awesome job at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.; it is great to work with so many smart people who love coffee. I am thankful for my two dogs; they are old, fit and happy and keep me active.

Marybeth: I am thankful for a great cup of coffee (Guatemalan Finca Dos Marias Rocks!) on a sunny fall morning while sitting on my front porch watching the sun light up the sky. I am thankful for being a part of a company that cares – cares about the people who work here, our consumers, and the environment. I am thankful that as our sales grow so does the 5% we donate to local and global causes.

Roger: Have you ever had one of those moments of wonder? The kinds when the whole world seems to slow down just long enough for you to appreciate it. And then for that instant, that single speck in time, nothing else matters – no stress, no worry, no frets. The other day when I was walking to work I had one of those moments. It was a beautiful morning and the sun was dancing on the autumnally punctuated mountains that surround us. The air was crisp but not cold. The colors of the sky, the clouds, and the hillsides were spot on. Even the birds’ songs seemed to lilt just a bit brighter, carrying on the breeze just a second longer than the physics of sound would normally allow. The moment literally stopped me in my tracks. I chuckled to myself while taking it all in. Those moments, those quick, personal mental group hugs with the universe, those simple distillations of time and purpose and place, that’s what I’m thankful for….

Mary Beth J.: I am new to Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. this year and have found that I have a lot that I am thankful for:



  • Bringing my personal passion into work each day

  • New opportunities and experiences

  • A new appreciation for the coffee industry and an endless supply of caffeine

  • Having coworkers who patiently waited while I got back on my feet, literally, and cheered me on along the way after having only known me for a few weeks



Colleen: I am thankful that I trusted my heart and moved from New York City to Vermont!  Now I have a fiancé that I adore, a dream job at a company I admire, and a world of outdoor adventures at my doorstep!

Jen:  I am thankful for my awesome network of friends who never fail to support me and keep me going!  And that Donovan McNabb is no longer the starting quarterback for the Vikings! ;)

Derek: I am thankful for many things, but among them: I am thankful that great, interesting music is still being made today.  I’m thankful that the Flatlander Barbecue team didn’t fall flat on our face during our first year of competitive barbecue.  I’m thankful to work for a company with so many opportunities and to have the ability to work on such an amazing brand.  And I’m thankful that my wife and I get to live in the beautiful state of Vermont – more often than not, my morning commute is just breathtaking.

Kristen:  It’s been one of those years, folks.  You know: The kind of year that brings just as many challenges as it does rewards?  But man, are those rewards all the sweeter because of the hurdles it took to get them.  And those rewards are: Superior coworkers – the kind that will deal with you reverse trick-or-treating around campus in costume or frolicking down the halls of Cubeland; loving family – those that will pick you up at the airport after an event so late in the night it’s early in the morning; and hilarious, dedicated friends – the ones that roll their eyes when you tell them they’re all getting coffee for Christmas for year number three and then merrily chug every morsel of caffeinated goodness.

Tom:  My family lore has it that we're descended from the pilgrims John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley. Howland was swept off the deck of the Mayflower in a storm -- but saved by a rope thrown overboard. So I'm definitely thankful for that rescue. Otherwise I wouldn't even be here! (I am also secretly grateful for the cranberry sauce shaped just like the can it comes out of. With three kids, there's always some of that on our Thanksgiving table, alongside the more wholesome, natural whole-berry stuff.)

Doug: I'm thankful for wool socks, the heavy kind, all sheepy soft on the inside and thick enough to ward off evening chills. I'm thankful for autumn bonfires, and friends to share them with. Marshmallows, toasted just so. And I'm exceptionally thankful for a job with an amazing company that has in so many ways exceeded my expectations about what a group of committed people can do. I mean — it's a job, right? In this economy that's enough, and it affords me many of the other things I'm thankful for. But working here has enriched me as a human being, too. Who'd have expected that? So, thanks. And don't forget… wool socks: awesome.

What are you thankful for this year?

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Why I drink Fair Trade Kenyan Highland Cooperative Coffee

When I first started working at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., I, like all our employees, attended Coffee College.  Although I’d been drinking coffee for a few years, the only knowledge I had of it was that it contained caffeine and tasted delicious. Embarrassingly, I was one of many (I know you’re out there!) who thought that Green Mountain Coffee was actually grown in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Coffee College taught me that no, coffee cannot grow in Vermont but also taught me to appreciate the flavor of coffee.

The first coffee that I truly tasted was our Single Origin, Fair Trade Kenyan Highland Cooperative. Under instruction from our “Coffee Professor” Tina, I took the time to observe the way the beverage transformed from first sip to swallow. How when the Kenya first hits your taste buds it bursts with a light, berry-like flavor but then transforms to a sugary smooth wine-like taste by the time you’ve finished your sip. The complexity, yet still coffee-taste of the coffee is a remarkable thing to experience. It makes me understand the value of the soil, sun and farmers that made this coffee possible.

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Update: Irene Flood Relief Concert with Rubblebucket

Update 9/15/2011 - We're getting really excited for the relief show tomorrow night and to help spread the word our friends at Select Design created this great event flyer! There are going to be some fabulous raffle prizes as well as some food samples from Vermont Companies!


9/8/2011 - As you know, communities around Vermont – and many of our friends and coworkers – continue to recover from the aftermath of tropical storm Irene.   We’ve all been searching for ways to help, to do more where there’s need and to support organizations that can reach people and places we cannot.



That’s why on Friday, September 16, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. and other Vermont businesses will be hosting an Irene Flood Relief concert at Higher Ground in Burlington.

The concert features energetic afro-indie pop band Rubblebucket, returning to Vermont for one last 2011 concert to help the Vermont community, and Latin jazz and salsa dance band Ritmo Masacote.

In addition, the event will spotlight the companies and nonprofit organizations who have been involved in the relief efforts.

Tickets are $10 each, with proceeds benefitting the Vermont Foodbank.  Tickets are now on sale -- please click here to purchase tickets.

ETA: Can’t make it to Vermont for the event?  We’ll miss you, but you can still donate by texting FOODNOW to 52000 to donate $10 to Vermont Foodbank.

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