NI coffee chain Ground Espresso Bars welcomed Omar Rodriguez from the Capucas cooperative in Honduras as part of his first visit to Fairtrade Ireland. Omar’s visit coincides with the official launch of the coffee chain’s new coffee blend ‘Bobblehat’.
Ground Espresso Bars are also excited to launch their exclusive Bobblehat brew and add to their range of signature blends. Co-Founder of Ground, Darren Gardiner described some of the coffee’s characteristics: “We’ve knitted together a blend of three individual coffees from Brazil, Honduras and Indonesia in our unique, new, one of a kind espresso blend. It’s got an aroma that hints at freshly baked bread with doughy wholemeal notes and the cereal theme continues in the taste, leading to fruit and citrus on the finish, and a pom-pom on top!”
The special new blend is FairTrade certified with strong direct trade links. In the future, Ground aspires to reproduce the success of the Honduras Project.
Ground Espresso Bars are one of only a handful of coffee houses in the UK and Ireland who engage in direct trade with the communities that are producing their coffee. The direct trade model goes beyond the Fairtrade principles as Ground becomes proactively connected to the well-being of the coffee-growing community. Through regular reconnaissance trips to Honduras and an investment in intensive relationship building with the cooperative, Ground are pioneering a quality centric approach to supply chain management. Ground’s visits to the country of origin provide the opportunity to identify the needs of the local community, and subsequently fulfilling these have led to mutually beneficial outcomes including collaboration on new varietals and coffees, and higher quality coffee. These benefits filter into Ground’s product and service standards in NI and affirms the notion that “doing good is good business.”
Karen added: “We’re committed to improving the quality of life in our coffees’ country of origin, so it is very special that Omar visits us on the day that we release a new blend, Bobblehat, which originates from Honduras, Brazil and Indonesia.”
Omar, whose visit coincided with the Bobblehat launch, has been crucial to the success of Ground’s philanthropic education project in Honduras, which began in March 2015 and is forecasted to be finished early April. As part of an initiative to give back to its producers, growers and co-ops who produce coffee products such as Ground Espresso Bars’ trade-marked Purple Dragon blend, the company propelled funding for the construction of a new education hub in Honduras intended to provide an IT centre with 30 new computers for use by children and young people in the community. It is predicted that the centre will benefit 500 local school children and a further 500 young school leavers who otherwise would not have access to computers and higher education opportunities.
The original Honduras Project cost of $25,000 was 90% funded by Ground Espresso Bars and 10% through fundraising activities in its multiple outlets across the country. Upon recommendations from the University of Honduras, Ground were inspired to enlarge this initiative by transforming the small community centre into a remote learning hub, incurring a new support sum of $130,000. This project expansion was funded through donations to the Fundación, as well as the cooperative’s own contribution of $70,000 which is a testament to the community’s commitment to enhancing self-sustainability.
Director of Ground Espresso Bars, Karen Gardiner highlighted the importance of Omar to the company: “The Honduras project is changing the lives of this local community and Omar has played a key role in that. We have entrusted the overseeing and logistics of the hub’s construction to him and we rely on Omar for development and resources updates. The feedback that he relays improves Ground’s continued support of this initiative. Without Omar’s drive and dedication, the expansion of this project would not have been possible, he pushed the vision of the long-term value of higher education for this remote community and has been physically advancing its success. ”
For further information or to donate to Ground Espresso Bars Honduras Project go to www.groundcoffee.net or visit your local Ground Espresso Bars.