"Organic, sustainable, delicious." - Conscious Coffee homepage.
Well, that's about all you need to know, right?
But what a disservice it would be if we didn't tell you more.
In The Beginning
At its core, Conscious Coffee's existence is predicated on the philosophy that "good" business is that which positively serves its customers, partners, communities, and the world at large. A worthy quest that, since getting started in the mid-90's, has left no shortage of sweat, elbow grease, good will, and good deeds in its wake.
Organic coffee is, pretty much by definition, unconventional (this is one of those "sad but true" sentences that tells the story of a global food & beverage system that's lost its way). What's also unconventional is how Craig Lamberty, who purchased Conscious Coffees in 2017, came into the industry. An accomplished, globe-trotting businessman in search of a complete career change, he had always been inspired by his sister's Haitian coffee importing business. One thing led to another and before Craig and his wife knew it, that inspiration led to action. They packed up their lives, headed west from Iowa to Colorado, and took the reins at Conscious.
What exists today is a company that strives to make the world a better place by importing and roasting better coffee. Here's how they do it:
Conscious Coffees obtained a B-Corp certification years ago. A Certified B-Corp is an organization that leads "in the the global movement for an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy." Companies who are able to obtain the certification have to undergo - and have to continue to undergo beyond the initial certification - rigorous analysis of documentation, operations, structure, and processes.
They even make a legal commitment to fundamentally change the corporate governance structure to benefit all stakeholders, not just shareholders. In other words, these companies can talk the talk because they walk the walk. Certified B-Corps simply can't operate without buying into the premise that profit can exist harmoniously with progress.
Conscious is a proud member of this community.
Better for the World
Now, within the B-Corp certification, companies can win what's called a Better for the World distinction. Conscious Coffee has done that.
And done that.
And done that 4 more times.
Their 2021 recognition was the 6th time they received the award, which is reserved for organizations that score in the top 5% worldwide on the B Impact Assessment. This is a thorough - like, really thorough - look at how the company impacts its workers, community, and environment.
(Consciously) Cooperative Coffees
Cooperative Coffees, a shining pillar in the coffee business in its own right, is Conscious's trusting sourcing partner. As a matter of fact, Conscious was one of the founding members of the co-op.
Coop bypasses the traditional middleman model by importing green coffees directly from farmers at origin, which allows for them to do two things very well:
1) Build relationships! Farmers are able to work with the same folks year after year, which gives them a reliable source of income they can count on.
2) Consistent quality. Quality is paramount in the specialty, organic coffee space, and this is one of the reasons why Conscious continues to put out excellent selections.
It's simple, but it isn't easy. Work tirelessly to build, and build upon, relationships that bring value, quality, and happiness. As Conscious has proven, these relationships will prove invaluable.
If you're going to call it a "manifesto", it better be strong. We'll let you judge for yourself.
(In the meantime, we'll sit here brooding with the knowledge that we can't lay claim to this artfully engineered collection of words.)
Our Conscious Manifesto
We believe that life is a grand adventure.
We believe that the people we meet, the things we consume, and the places we love all have the potential to change us. We believe in building relationships, in coloring outside the lines, and in chasing authenticity until we’re blistered and blissful. We believe in taking care of this awesome planet so that our children’s children have a place to wander and play. We believe that there is a little bit of wildness within each of us and that therein lies our true calling.
We believe that coffee is our calling.
We believe that great coffee is the lifeblood of flourishing communities locally and globally. We believe that this tiny little bean has enormous potential to transform lives. We believe that we each have a desire to choose wisely and live consciously. We believe that life is too short not to be shared.
Won’t you join us on the adventure?
Thank you, Conscious Coffees, for making our industry - and the world - a better place to be.
Want more? Dave sat down with Conscious owner, Craig Lamberty, to discuss all things organic coffee, including supply chain problems, innovations in organic coffee farming, and more.
Check out what we have featured from Conscious here.