Grounds Café & Raleigh Coffee Company – Building Relationships with Coffee Farmers

Casey Marburger (Grounds Cafe) & Joe Bland (Raleigh Coffee Company)

When you go into a coffee shop do you ever wonder where their coffee comes from? Not just where it was roasted, but where the coffee beans were farmed, how it was grown, and who picked it? Most of us don’t give it much thought, but the story of how your morning coffee makes its way to your cup actually affects a lot of lives along the way. For people like Casey Marburger, owner and operator of Grounds Café in Wendell Falls, the relationship between cafe owner and coffee farmer is important. That is why Casey is working with Joe Bland, owner of Raleigh Coffee Company, to partner with a family run coffee farm in Guatemala to source coffee beans for use at Grounds and her coffee catering business Event Espresso.

Grounds Cafe in Wendell Falls

Together the two are working with Dos Ninas Coffee Importers as part of their “Seed to Cup” program. By doing so they know exactly where their coffee beans are coming from (right down to exact the location on the farm). They are also ensuring that the coffee they are getting is being farmed in an environmentally sustainable manner by a coffee farm that treats its workers fairly and and gives back to the community.

This partnership is important to Joe because Raleigh Coffee Company strives to develop relationships between its customers and the greater coffee farming community. It is also important to Casey because as she explains it, transparency regarding where the coffee used in her shop comes from is important to her, along with ensuring that it is grown with love and comes from a place of positive energy that supports the community.


Finca San Luis El Volcancito Coffee Farm – Guatemala

By entering into this partnership Raleigh Coffee Company and Grounds know they are getting a high quality coffee that they can trace from bean to cup. They have access to detailed information from each step in the process down to the soil ph of the soil it was grown from on the farm. By establishing this relationship with Dos Ninas they provide the farm with a commitment to purchase a certain amount of coffee each year providing a guaranteed revenue stream that the farm can count on and use to invest in their operation and give back to their local coffee community.


Coffee Cherries

Dos Niñas Coffee was founded by the Schippers sisters. The two are fourth generation farmers and spent much of their childhood growing up in the Guatemalan Countryside on their family’s farm, Finca San Luis El Volcancito. After moving to the United States, the sisters have dedicated themselves to the work of introducing roasters across the US to the exceptional coffee their family farm produces.

What makes Dos Niñas standout in the world of coffee is their dedication to three core values: family, quality & traceability. Nestled in between the Guatemalan mountains, Finca San Luis El Volcancito resides in Pueblo Nuevo Viñas, in the region of Santa Rosa. The farm’s origins date back to 1881, with the family buying the land in 1998. The coffee is farmed from extremely fertile land thanks to the farm’s own private volcano which results in very productive soils. From its seedling stage in the nursery, to its last drying step the coffee is cared for with great attention to detail.


School on the Farm

They are not only committed to producing great quality coffee, but also to making a change in their community and its employees. The farm is home to 11 families, who are also the farm workers. Each family is provided with land for their personal coffee cropland the farm has constructed a school for the children and renovated an existing church to serve the community.

They are also in the process of building each family a house on the farm. Currently, the school supports pre-kinder through the 6th grade and there are plans to expand the building and gain personnel in order to add a high school to complete the children’s education.  Dos Niñas takes pride in knowing that every hand that labors alongside their family is compensated fairly, their community is supported, and the land that they farm is treated with love.


Raleigh Coffee Company Bean Roaster

If you would like to learn more about the Dos Ninas “bean to cup” program visit their website here. I also recommend paying a visit to Grounds Cafe the next time you are in Wendell. They have a wonderful location inside the Farmhouse located at the new Wendell Falls Community. And of course you can always purchase coffee directly from Raleigh Coffee Company through their online store.

No matter where you enjoy your next cup of coffee, take a moment to think about where it comes from and the lives it has touched. When the coffee farmer, roaster, and cafe owner work together to provide quality coffee that embodies respect and reverence for land and labor everyone wins.


Filed under Coffee

3 responses to “Grounds Café & Raleigh Coffee Company – Building Relationships with Coffee Farmers

  1. Joyce Sonn

    What an inspiring story! So proud of Casey who has done such wonderful things with coffee and people! She left our neighborhood Soulard Coffee Garden in St. Louis where everyone loved her and knew she would do great things! And she certainly has!!!!

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