It's ICE COFFEE and Patio Time! And Happy Bike Month to All!!
June 15 is the return of Roncy Rocks (www.roncyrocks.com)!! Stroll down Roncie (between 10am-6pm) and join us for our community’s annual celebration of local art, music and culture. AG will be out on the sidewalk hosting a pottery artist from Inspiration Studios ( www.inspirationsstudio.org) as well as our own AG jewellery artist Simone Collins! In the spirit of all good sidewalk sales, we will be offering 25% off all merchandise in store (except for Soda Stream products)! Additionally, purchase one of the variety of travel mugs on offer and we will give you a brewed coffee for FREE! A great day for a meander in the neighbourhood.. and we will keep our fingers crossed for some sunshine.
There still time to become a grower! Visit via www.growahead.org and make a loan to help finance a coffee container from Pangoa Coop (Peru)! All lenders will get their name added to cafe's window coffee tree. And if you lend during your stay at the cafe while using our FREE WiFi,show a member of our Staff your loan confirmation email and ye shall receive a FREE specialty coffee drink!
Learn more about Grow Ahead, a radically good consumer-to-farmer financing platform, by watching Pangoa's general manager Esperanza Dionisio's very special message!
Keep a look out for our newest edition: the "Twisted Sister"! This blend is a limited offerring (we only have 4 bags of this coffee booked!). Our creation is inspired by an experiment conducted by our friends at Cepicafe in Peru. Traditionally, coffee there was dried naturally with the pulp on - the North American palette preferred a washed or pulped coffee, which is the way most coffees are processed now. At the request of several Coop Coffees roasters, some of the farmers decided to experiment with producing a "natural" Peru. It has been a journey of trial and error, but we are thankful they perservered! On it's own, we find this coffee to be a beautiful jammy coffee with a surprising depth in body. And married with its "sister", a washed Peruvian from Cenfrocafe, we get "Twisted Sister"! This baby cries out for your espresso machine or stove top!! If it is not on the shelf ask us when it will be in the cafe. First load hits the wall May 7th!
Attention K-Cup users: You can enjoy our fairtrade and organic java, keep it green and get the most out of your single serve coffee makers!! Many thanks to Wanda and Tony Jurashek who brought to our attention the re-usable Keurig-ready cups and filters pictured left. For purchasing info, visit www.ecscoffee.com/ez-cup-for-your-keurig-brewer.html.
IT'S OFFICIAL! Toronto has been designated a Fairtrade City - the largest in North America!! On Friday May 10th, advocate volunteers, local businesses and FT Canada staff were on hand at City Hall for the proclamation and flag raising ceremony which included the participation of Councillor Mike Layton. For more info, visit www.fairtradetoronto.ca/toronto-is-now-the-largest-fair-trade-city-in-north-america
Fair World Project has a blog series that checks out product claims to be fairtrade. If you see a product or company claim that does not seem right, you can email email@example.com. Meanwhile, in January, FLO released "Monitoring the Scope and Benefits of Fairtrade 2012", which you can read at www.fairtrade.net/impact_studies.html.
Holy singing beans, Batman! Check out this cool music video produced by Cuppa Change, www.youtube.com/watch?v=eR2Roy2BlFc, a fantastic client and community partner that has been selling AG coffee to raise monies in support of Free the Children and the Stephen Lewis Foundation. So how about selling Fairtrade and organic products for a good cause? We've got fairtrade coffee, teas, and chocolate to get you started! Many school clubs and groups use our products to fundraise for great projects. Have one in mind? Give us a call and we will be happy to help, the number is 416-534-6335.
Remember to check out Faitrade Proof?, one of Coop Coffees' initiatives which addresses "transparency" in fairtrade transactions made by its members. At www.fairtradeproof.org, you can trace the beans you love from farmer to roaster (including AG), and learn about the intricate yet rewarding inner workings of fairtrade partnerships.
At the Cafe
AG is hosting a penny-drive in support of Transforming Faces, an organization that helps folks with cleft lip and palate around the world. Pennies can make a difference! $15 covers the cost of a speech therapy session. Check out their website at www.transformingfaces.org and BRING US YOUR PENNIES PLEASE!
A great gadget for the Über Coffee Keener: The Coffee Syphon! Best part, these babies are on special: The table top version (retail $90) is on sale for only $70 and the 8-cup model is available for just $50 (from $65). Get them while they last!!
Thanks to a customer, we've become aware of a controversy surrounding Soda Stream products. It's discouraging - I love my device but not to the detriment of someone else! We have a contract with SS and a brand new load of product in so we'll continue to sell what we have but want to urge all of you Soda Stream keeners to educate yourselves and inform Soda Stream of your opinions and choices. Go to jewishvoiceforpeace.org/blog/jewish-voice-for-peace-endorses-boycott-of-sodastream, jfjfp.com/?p=27840, where you'll find advocates' concerns; while www.youtube.com/watch?v=zl85AL1l0H0 depicts the situation from the company's position. You can email Soda Stream at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading, understanding and sharing!
Free WIFI, yes indeed! Our connectivity comes to us thanks in part to Wireless Toronto, a not-for-profit community group dedicated to bringing no-fee wireless access to Toronto. You can find out more about them at www.wirelesstoronto.ca.
Live Green Members welcomed! If you are a card carrying member of the Live Green Toronto program, show your card next time you stop by the cafe for a special offer available to members only. For more info about the program and to register, visit www.livegreencard.ca/business/141
Listen up! AG is part of AudioBlood Media's Coffee Shop Project (CSP) and it's Pick of the Month series (highlighting local music wonders). This is how it works: At the cafe you'll find download cards each featuring a bundle from one featured Pick of the Month artist (download available for one full month). The card will offer fans access to new downloads via csp.audioblood.com, where you can also learn more about the program, participating coffee shops and November's featured indie band/artist!
Interested in making your musical debut or showcasing your talents at the cafe? Contact us at email@example.com
In our Artspace
This month we showcase work by Moudu Ekhar, a contemporary African artist who grew up in Benin City, Nigeria. After graduating from Seneca College and The Ontario College of Art & Design, Moudu became the first art director of the AfriCanadian journal. As an artist, he is influenced by traditional African mythology, literature and folklore, to create visual metaphors. As a community activist, he is the founder and coordinator of XZIBITeh!, an artists collective in south Etobicoke, dedicated to the arts. As an art educator, he often encourages his students to use their cultural heritage as a springboard for their creativity. Moudu is a recent recipient of the Artist-in-Education grant from the Ontario Arts Council and continues to develop other art projects for young artists.
Interested in displaying your work in the cafe? Contact us, firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to showcase your work on our walls.
Events & Happenings
This Sunday June 9th is the Parkdale-Toronto Hort Society's Annual Garden Tour! This year the gardens of Brule and Riverside Gardens are featured . This is an annual fundraiser and the money raised is used for local community garden projects. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased at Sweetpeas on Roncie. It is a fabulous opportunity to visit some unique and truly inspiring gardens - to satisfy the snoop in all of us!! Tickets can also be purchased at the event itself - at the Brule Garden gates with is south of Bloor and west of the Kingsway, and at Lucy Maud Montgomery Parkette. The event runs from 10-4pm
Bike Month kicks off Monday, May 27 and carries on til the end of June with hundreds of interesting and fun things to do, including rides, guided bike tours, festivals, art shows, film screenings, and more. Remember, May 27 is Bike to Work Day, so get those wheels turning and join this great feel good critical mass ride!! For a full listing of events, visit www.bikemonth2013.ca/events?location=toronto&.
Have you heard that Toronto's 1st tool library is opening in the basement of PARC? (1499 Queen St.W) They are taking donations and looking for volunteers. You will soon be able to purchase a membership and borrow all the tools needed for that long-delayed project! Find out more at www.irbe.org. You can also call 647-965-5604 or email contact @irbe.org
Big Kudos to all Roncy Works volunteers! These creative folks not only keep the main drag looking snazzy but they provide all the storefronts with the handy-dandy blue butt bins. Not content with this, they have found a company in the US that recycles cigarette butts and pays a dollar a pound for them! Money raised through this venture will go towards off-setting the purchase of permanent butt bins. So if you see us out there collecting butts, its not to roll our own!! You can volunteer with Roncy Works at www.roncyworks.org
Have you checked out Beit Zatoun's impressive calendar of events? Go to www.beitzatoun.org/cms/events.aspx for a list of upcoming music concerts, art exhibits, puppet-making workshops and informative talks hosted at this welcoming community-centered space.
There will be food! The Sorauren Farmers Market is still happening every Monday (indoors, at the Fieldhouse).
In the spotlight!
This month’s spotlight shines on one of our retail customers and all-round fantastic place: The Nuthouse! Located in the West End at 1256A Bloor Street West (2 blocks East of Lansdowne), this emporium of quality edible goods is the labour of love of Alex and Liza.
Small but beautiful, The Nuthouse is packed with a great assortment of organic and all-natural bulk and packaged products including snacks, coffee (our very own & finest), spices, flour, dried fruits, candies, chocolates, beans, rice, teas, grains, frozen foods, honey, eco-friendly household items, and of course awesome nuts!!
Fairtrade keeners, do you read Coop Coffee's monthly newsletter? It's a great resource containing fantastic articles, links and updates (ie. Equal Exchange's piece by Phyllis Robinson on Transfair USA's name change to "Fair Trade USA” featuring clever illustratins like the one on the right).
Fairtrade headline! Today, with TransFair USA leaving the FLO system and launching its own version of "Fair Trade for All" – we see a lot of jostling for position on who has the ultimate "authority" to dictate the future path of fair trade and to re-write the standards. There is still a lot of dust left to settle. Yet we can already categorically reject the theory promoted by "Fair Trade for All" that by working with large scale plantations and with trans-national corporations – the volume of transactions will trickle down and translate into greater economic impact for marginalized farmers and farm workers.. Read the rest on Cooperative Coffees Position on Fairtrade here.
We highly recommend subscribing to the Fair World Project's newsletter at www.fairworldproject.org. This publication provides great info on a broad spectrum of fairtrade enterprises as well as intelligent commentary on some of the latest issues brewing in the fairtrade world.
Interested in learning more about Fairtrade, Organics and Social Justice? Make sure to check our Resources page for more info and great links!
Remember, if you want to become better acquainted with our fairtrade pricing policy, check out the Fairtrade section of this website. We are always on the look-out for great ideas - things that partner well with us and what we are trying to accomplish through Alternative Grounds. So feel free to drop us a line and share suggestions with our staff.
Also, check out our Greenstuff section for tips and suggestions to help us soften our collective and individual carbon footprint! In this section you'll find neat and fun ideas for the use and re-use of our burlap/jute bags, paper bags, etc. And we bet your compost could use a little of our coffee chaff to lighten its load!! If you are indeed interested, give Linda a call at 416-534-6335
More Good Stuff!!
For those of you who don't know, the folks at Lemon and Allspice who make our yummy gingerbread and chocolate chip cookies (yes they use real butter) also do catering. The company which is run by and for folks with developmental dissabilities, does a mean lunch! For the scoop, contact email@example.com or 416-686-1906
If you have been to the cafe recently, you will have noticed a few changes, not least of which includes our new menu of vegan soups. These come to us from Sunny of Vegan Delights. A well-known caterer, you can now find some of his creations at the cafe. Watch for new menu items. You can check out his website at www.vegandelights.ca.or www.sunnyvegan.com
We're Passionate About Fairtrade and Love to Share Our Passion! Over the years we have gathered a good collection of articles, books and videos about different aspects of Fairtrade and coffee. These are available for your perusal at the cafe or on loan. We're also available to do slide shows and presentations. So give us a call at 416-534-6335.
And thanks to...
Gerry for bringing a quotation from the late Tommy Douglas to our attention:
"Courage, my friends. It is not too late to build a better world."
Words to live by!!