Sustainable partnerships – Conrad’s Coffee


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Since 2009, Food Services has partnered with Conrad’s Coffee to provide students who visit Roess Dining Hall with a quality coffee experience. This partnership also continues Food Service’s commitment to sustainable dining.

While working as a personal security professional owner of Conrad’s Coffee, Conrad Poe, traveled the world. As he traveled, he developed a passion for coffee and grew an appreciation of the many forms it takes internationally. His friends, family and co-workers soon looked to Conrad for his coffee expertise.

In 1999, Conrad and his wife Jody shared their passion with the Boone community, and opened their coffee business. After a few years of owning coffee houses, they started to focus solely on roasting beans.

Now, Conrad is back working in private security and Jody takes on the day-to-day roasting activities.

Not only is Conrad’s coffee roasted locally, but the beans are sourced with a commitment to sustainability and fair trade.

According to the International Coffee Organization, coffee is an ever-green shrub which helps sequester carbon and stabilize soil. When coffee growers use organic farming methods it contributes to the health of the communities and environment in the area.

Each coffee growing country ranks their coffee beans in grades of quality. Conrad’s only buys the top one percent of top-grade beans from around the world and buys organic and fair trade when available.

“Organic coffee isn’t for the consumer,” Jody said. “It is for the people who are growing the coffee. It keeps their water table clean, and animal, bee populations healthy. It is also gentler on the growers.”

And, Jody said, buying fair-trade beans ensures that the owners and growers are paid living wages, which in turn ensures quality product and empowered local economies.

Their organic blend Sumatra coffee is the biggest seller, Jody said. But, their coffee across the board has earned the re-occurring business of many, including Appalachian Food Services. 

“I think it’s the quality of the beans, and we roast them with love,” Jody said. “A long time ago, a gentleman who taught us how to roast told us ‘don’t spill your beans, someone on the other side of the hemisphere sent it all the way to you. Treat your beans with respect.’ These beans come such a far way and we want them to reach their full potential.”

Conrad’s commitment to sustainability does not stop at sourcing. Because Conrad’s is able to roast small batches, there is little water involved. This cuts down on water consumption and the environmental impact of each roast.

The waste from the roasting process – the shaft of the bean and compostable filters—are composted in to the Poe family’s own compost, which is used in their garden where they grow most of their own food.

 Appalachian Food Services is committed to the university’s mission of sustainability, not only in partnerships but also in practices. To learn more, click here. 

Published: Feb 28, 2017 4:28pm