At La Colombe, we recognize that as coffee roasters we occupy a unique place between the developing world and some of the most affluent consumers on the planet. It is a rare privilege that seldom is afforded. We also believe that the opportunity to affect our local communities is equally if not more important.
In January, we partnered with W.B. Saul High School’s volunteer-run composting program, and began recycling our used coffee grounds in Philadelphia, helping to lessen our carbon footprint by significantly reducing the amount of waste that is hauled off to landfills. Coffee is a great addition to any composting soil mix. It is really nutritious for plants, and it obviously smells much better than manure. W.B. Saul is one of only two agricultural high schools in the United States, and its 150-acre farm is able to accommodate our massive amounts of grounds on a weekly basis. In just six months, we’ve had over 14,000 pounds of used coffee picked up from our Philadelphia cafés.
In addition to giving the program our grounds, we also donate coffee products to their student farmers’ market that runs every Tuesday (2pm – 7pm) and Friday (2pm – 6pm) through October at the Henry Avenue Farmstand. Please stop by, and grab some really tasty, city-farm-grown food.
Both the chef and the baker at our forthcoming Fishtown café are very excited at the thought of using produce from the high school’s farm for their own delectable creations. That means our customers will be the direct beneficiaries of the produce fertilized by our very own grounds – bringing everything full circle!