Coffee. One of the highlights of my day. 5:30 a.m. and again around 2 p.m. Nothing better. Well, maybe a few things come close, but that’s subject to debate. I like my coffee strong, flavorful, stand-a-spoon-in-it thick. With a bit of half-n-half. My go-to bean for years, maybe going on twenty years, is what Sentinel Coffee now calls their ‘Alpine Blend’, you know, the can with Cecile Elliot on it, sitting atop Mt Jumbo enjoying a cup. (My photo is relegated to the medium roast can, sitting atop Sheep Peak enjoying a cup. Hey, we can’t always choose our road to stardom – I’ll take the medium can!)
Before Sentinel became Sentinel, Jeff and Jane Hill owned the earlier incarnation, Juanita’s Coffee. Back then, the blend of my caffeinated dreams was know as ‘Inca Gold’. The stuff of legend. I thought I was a coffee nutcase until I learned that the Hill’s daughter Sarah enjoyed sprinkling ground Inca Gold onto their carpet so that upon vacuuming, the scent would drown the house, much more so than the aroma from simply brewing a stiff cup. For some reason, I just can’t get myself to dump fresh grind onto the carpet. I’m not sure why.
Local coffee, local impact, local heat. Heat Locally!
A check arrived in Renewable Juneau’s post office box recently, the 4th quarter 2021 carbon offset check from Sentinel Coffee. This completes Sentinel Coffee’s 2nd full year of paying for the carbon produced from the shipping of hundreds of pounds of green coffee beans from the Pacific Northwest to their roasting lab here in Juneau. Sentinel Coffee subscribers, those fine folks who enjoy finding a weekly bag of fresh-as-can-be beans outside their door each week, pay a 10 cent per pound fee that covers the carbon offset. Each quarter, these tiny offset payments are added up and sent to Renewable Juneau’s Carbon Offset Fund and from there, the money is directed to lower income families to help them leave their carbon-heavy oil days behind and begin enjoying inexpensive and local home heat from an air source heat pump.
Sentinel is a local leader when it comes to sustainably operating their business. They burn no fossil fuels whatsoever in their process – marketing, roasting, packing, and delivering. Read all about their varied sustainability efforts on their website!
Coppa Cafe Joins the Team – FOMO?
But wait, there’s more! The more time I spend with Marc Wheeler, the more I learn that the word ‘NO’ may not exist in his vocabulary. I’m increasingly convinced that Marc may be the quintessential yes-man. I’m not certain that he has issues with FOMO (fear of missing out), but he seems to be eager to jump on the cart and go for the hayride! An optimistic ‘yes’ seems to come way before a doubting ‘no’ when dealing with Marc. Combine that trait with a drive to build community and do local good and we see Coppa jumping right onto Sentinel’s coffee hayride!
Coppa has made the decision to add their pounds of purchased Sentinel beans to the subscribers’ total, essentially increasing that total by 200%. Marc Wheeler and Jessica Paris’ Coppa Cafe nearly doubled the size of the Sentinel check this last quarter. And, like Dave Thomas’ Sentinel Coffee, Coppa is also a leading sustainability business. Coppa is a community hub with a strong focus on giving, supporting, and even employing those in need. Read all about the sustainability efforts of Coppa here!
More and more, Juneau consumers are able to make purchases and decisions that have positive local impacts. So, next time you ‘look local first’, consider businesses like Dave’s Sentinel Coffee and Marc and Jessica’s Coppa! You’ll not only get to enjoy a great cup of jo (or ice cream!) – your dollar will support local causes far beyond just paying the bills.