Steamboat nonprofits hope special coffee blends find their way onto holiday wish lists
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A trio of local nonprofits are hoping their coffee blends find a spot on Christmas lists this holiday season.
“We would think that people who are shopping for the holidays would pick up coffee and see all the other things that are here as well,” said Candice Bannister, executive director of the Tread of Pioneers Museum in Steamboat Springs, one of the groups selling coffee to raise funds. “We have historical photographs, local and regional books and local products.”
She said she would love to see the two coffee blends offered by the museum, as well as those from LiftUp of Routt County and the Routt County Humane Society, at local grocery stores like City Market, Natural Grocers and Safeway. The organizations, along with the Steamboat Springs Coffee & Tea Company that produces the blends, have been working toward that goal, but the chances of customers finding these fundraising blends on the grocery store shelves before the holidays is unlikely. But that doesn’t mean the coffee is not available.
“Once Steamboat Coffee & Tea Company gets its permitting and all of that to be able to carry their coffee in the stores then we hope to be on the shelves of the store with LiftUp and the others,” Bannister said.
Until then, the blends will be available at the different organizations.
The Tread of Pioneers will sell its Howelsen Hill and Holiday blends, which have been on the market since last December and feature unique historic photographs on the packaging, in the museum store at 800 Oak St.
LiftUp is selling a The LiftUp blend, a regular coffee, and LiftUp Light, which is a half-caffeine blend. The store has been selling it at the LiftUp Thrift Store, and people seem to be loving it.
“It’s going well,” said LiftUp Executive Director Sue Fegelein. “We are carrying it here in the store and it is selling well, and All That is going to start selling it a little closer to Christmas. It’s a great way to start the day and it’s really, really good coffee.”
The Routt County Humane Society offers the Rescue blend with proceeds from the sales benefiting the local animal shelter.
“We sell a ton of it,” said Dave Terranova, owner of Paws ‘n Claws where the Rescue blend is sold. “We have had it for a couple of years. We don’t make one penny off of it — every penny goes right to the cause.”
And although his store is focused on pets, he has plenty of people coming in just to buy the coffee.
“We do have people who come in strictly for the coffee,” Terranova said. “Some people just want to support the shelter, and they just come in and buy the coffee.”
John Kuhn, who owns the Steamboat Springs Coffee & Tea Company, said he has been working with many local retailers to get these products on the shelves, and to help benefit nonprofits.
“This is one of those funny things where the corporate offices doesn’t understand what the local people are all about,” Kuhn said. “Any encouragement people could give to the stores that say please bring this coffee in, we would support that, especially Natural Grocers would be awesome. Look we have some people who are excited about doing this, and that is a great, great thing. They can always call me, or they can always call LiftUp, we will get them coffee if they say, ‘Where can I get this?'”
John F. Russell is the business reporter at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach him, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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